A Successful Treatment for Peanut Allergy: Sublingual Allergy Drops Work!

peanut-butter-sandwhichThere may be a brighter future for peanut allergy sufferers

I received my allergy medical journal a little late this month, but it has a special surprise: a great article showing that sublingual allergy drops can protect children from peanut allergy. This is major headline news, and yet I didn’t hear anything in the lay press newspapers about this exciting breakthrough. Sublingual allergy drops have been successfully done for hazelnut and kiwi, but to protect against peanut allergy is a tremendous accomplishment.

The article appears in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, March 2011. The research was conducted at Duke’s Department of Pediatric Allergy and at the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital- two highly reputable centers. The study was done on 18 children, ages 1 to 11, who had a diagnosed peanut allergy. It was a double-blind placebo controlled study — the highest quality. 11 children received sublingual allergy drops and the other 7 children received placebo drops. The study had a 6 month build-up phase and a 6 month maintenance phase.

The key results: the group treated with the peanut allergy drops were able to ingest 20 times more peanuts (equivalent to 6-7 peanuts) than the control group (who tolerated less than 1 peanut at the end of the year study). The exciting part to me as a physician is that not only was the desensitization successful, but in the process of the treatment no patients required epinephrine (adrenalin) to reverse a severe allergic reactions — indicating the treatment can be done safely!

Unfortunately, I don’t think the treatment will be available in the next few months, but I would hope in the next year or two this treatment will be approved and available to help protect all those children and adults who fear an anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction to ingesting peanuts. I wrote in my book, Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution , that I hoped in the future sublingual allergy drops would make a difference in reversing food allergy — The time has come sooner than I expected.

Meanwhile, if you suspect your child or you have a peanut or other food allergy, it is imperative to get tested and know the emergency treatments available. Contact us today for an evaluation.

Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island

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