• Doctors hope new treatment can help children with peanut allergies

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    SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - Parents of kids with allergies know they have to be careful about what they pack up in lunchboxes. 

    But there's an exciting breakthrough happening with research being done here in Atlanta for children with peanut allergies. 

    The first food allergy treatment of its kind is one step closer to FDA approval.

    “We are all for that, obviously anything that can keep our daughter safer,” said mother Melissa Demedeiros. 

    Demedeiros said she’s used to going beyond reading labels to ensure her daughter Lyla doesn’t come in contact with peanuts. 

    “We call companies to ensure that peanuts aren’t run on the same line as the food that we are going to give her because even a trace amount can be a problem for her,” Demedeiros said.

    Doctors are calling the capsule Palforzia. It is filled with peanut powder and is given to the patients in controlled doses. The goal is to increase the doses over time to induce the level of tolerance.

    “I think it’s important for people to know that this is not a cure. This is a protection,” said Dr. Kathleen Sheerin with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma.

    “What it’s designed to do is to change the immune system such that if you get peanut by mistake; it’s hidden in the food or if you misread a label, that you won’t have a bad anaphylactic reaction,” Sheerin said.


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    Sheerin said some may not reach the top dose due to bad reactions and that is why it is important to receive these doses in hand in the doctors office.

    “There are reactions, so this has to be done in a doctor’s office. This isn’t something you’re going to write a prescription for and go to CVS or Walgreens to pick up,” Sheerin said. 

    “It’s not a cure but we are working in the right direction,” Sheerin said.

    There are studies ongoing for younger children at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma but if approved, this product will only be for children ages 4 through 17.

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