(WYTV) – About a million children in this country have a peanut allergy and only one in five will outgrow it.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new pill that builds up tolerance to peanuts over time.
It’s not a cure for a peanut allergy, but it may provide a bit of security and give kids a better quality of life.
“Now, maybe they don’t have to eat at the peanut-free table, and maybe they can go to that party where there’s cake and not be worried about it. Maybe kissing that person wouldn’t be so scary anymore because you’re worried that they may have eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a couple of hours beforehand,” said Dr. Sandra Hong from the Cleveland Clinic.
The pill is meant for children ages four to 17.
The medication is designed to provide a ‘safety net’ in case of accidental exposure. It’s not a license to start gobbling peanuts.
Children who take the medication still need to carry an epinephrine pen and avoid peanut products.
Since the pill contains peanut, it can create reactions. Children who begin the therapy have to stay on the medication for years, if not indefinitely.