Ask Us About Palforzia!
Peanut Allergy Treatment with Palforzia in New Orleans, LA
Dr. Reena Mehta is a board-certified allergist in New Orleans that can help you and your children overcome peanut allergies. Ask us about our new, FDA approved Palforzia oral immunotherapy program.
“I’m the parent of a son with multiple food allergies. When our son was first diagnosed, my wife and I consulted with multiple nationally know allergists. We were frustrated with the care we received and our lack of progress. We were then referred to Dr. Mehta who has been a godsend…Since our son has been seeing Dr. Mehta, he’s overcome several of his food allergies. There really is nothing like being able to eat out at restaurants with your child after packing all of his meals for a year.“
– Ravi Legha, 19-month old son Gavin, December 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
An allergic reaction to peanuts might occur in the below situations:
- You have a peanut allergy and you accidentally eat a peanut or any foods that contain raw, cooked, or processed peanuts
- You have a severe peanut allergy and share saliva with someone who ate peanuts either by kissing, sharing utensils, or sharing straws
- You are severely allergic to peanuts and have a reaction from simply inhaling peanut dust or peanut protein when someone cooks with peanuts
- You are allergic to peanuts and you touch peanuts or peanut butter
Types of Food
- Peanut butter
- Peanut oil
- Peanut flour
- Bread processed in a facility with peanuts
- Chocolate candy
- Baked goods
- Granola bars
- Asian, African, Mexican and other ethnic foods
Peanut Allergy Reactions
- Skin reactions such as hives – raised, itchy, red areas of skin
- Swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, tongue, hands, or feet
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or the feeling of passing out
- Anaphylaxis – multiple organ systems produce a significant immune response causing a rapid drop in blood pressure and possible circulatory shock that is life-threatening; symptoms include difficulty breathing and/or swallowing, vomiting, dizziness, dangerously low blood pressure, swelling over different parts of the body, and loss of consciousness
- Eczema – itchy, flaky skin
- Eosinophilic esophagitis – difficulty swallowing food or heartburn
Current Management and Treatment for Peanut Allergy
- Food avoidance – Do not eat peanuts or any peanut-containing foods.
- Antihistamine – If you are only mildly allergic to peanuts, you may be able to manage an allergic reaction to peanuts by waiting for symptoms to subside or by taking an antihistamine like Claritin or Benadryl. Antihistamines can help relieve mild symptoms like sneezing, itchy nose or mouth, a few hives, or slight nausea.
- Epinephrine – If you have a severe reaction, such as symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should inject yourself with epinephrine.
- Oral immunotherapy (OIT) – Feeding an allergic person larger and larger doses of peanut allergen in a controlled fashion might get the immune system desensitized to peanuts so that the threshold required to trigger an allergic reaction is increased. Palforzia was recently approved by the FDA as an oral immunotherapy for peanut allergies. So far, OIT has not been shown to cure peanut allergies. However, OIT can help reduce the severity of future allergic reactions.
FDA Approval Information
On January 31, 2020, the FDA approved Palforzia for commercial use in patients as oral immunotherapy to reduce the severity of allergic reactions to peanuts, including anaphylaxis, when peanut exposure occurs. Palforzia is only approved for use in patients ages 4 to 17 years old with a confirmed peanut allergy. Patients 18 years and older can continue taking Palforzia if they started it before or at age 17. Read more about the FDA approved Palforzia here.
What is Palforzia?
Palforzia should never be administered during an allergic reaction. Patients on Palforzia must carry injectable epinephrine in the event of a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, when accidentally exposed to peanuts.
How Does Palforzia work?
Palforzia is an oral peanut protein powder that should be mixed with food prior to consumption by a patient with confirmed peanut allergy. After handling Palforzia, you should wash your hands immediately to avoid spreading any peanut product around your home. Monitor for any potential reactions after taking Palforzia.
Safety and Effectiveness Information
US FDA approval of Palforzia was based upon the largest trial study of peanut allergen oral immunotherapy to date, which included 499 children aged 4 to 17 years and 56 adults aged 18 to 55 years. Of the children on active treatment, 77% tolerated the once daily 300 mg maintenance dose of peanut protein with no more than mild symptoms during a peanut challenge at the end of the study. Meanwhile, only 4% of the children in the placebo group passed the peanut challenge.
The rate of serious adverse events during the study was higher for the group receiving Palforzia treatment compared to the placebo group. For example, epinephrine administration for anaphylaxis was at 14% for active treatment patients compared to 6% for the placebo group. Patients on Palforzia were able to better tolerate peanut exposure during a food challenge, but they also had higher rates of anaphylaxis.
Despite the increased risk of anaphylaxis and other adverse effects, some patients may be highly motivated to take an oral immunotherapy such as Palforzia to help alleviate the anxiety of experiencing a severe allergic reaction in public upon accidental peanut ingestion. You should have a discussion with your allergist to determine if you are a good candidate for Palforzia. If a patient with confirmed peanut allergy already has a threshold high enough to make accidental ingestion reactions unlikely, he or she may be a poor candidate for Palforzia. Additionally, adverse effects, risk for anaphylaxis, and daily commitments required of oral immunotherapy may outweigh any potential benefit of Palforzia in increasing the allergic reaction threshold.
When examining the combined data of 12 clinical trials totalling 1041 patients, peanut OIT was 12 times more effective at increasing the likelihood of passing a supervised food challenge than an elimination, peanut-avoidant diet alone. However, the risk of anaphylaxis during the maintenance phase was 3 times higher for patients receiving peanut OIT treatment. Patients receiving peanut OIT also had higher frequencies of vomiting and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Limited data suggests that OIT may be better tolerated and perhaps more effective in young children than it is in older children. In a prospective study of 40 young children (ages 9 to 36 months) treated with either high- or low-dose peanut OIT (300 mg or 3000 mg peanut protein), both groups demonstrated high rates of short-term sustained unresponsiveness (78 percent overall). Nearly all patients experienced mild or moderate adverse events, but serious adverse events were not reported.
Once you are approved to take Palforzia through the REMS program, you can start treatment. Palforzia treatment is administered in 3 phases: initial dose escalation, up-dosing, and maintenance.
Other risks include adverse side effects, which are an expected part of treatment. These include:
- Itchy skin or hives
- Abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Numbness or tingling of the mouth
- Itchy ears
- Swelling or other irritation of the throat
- Runny nose
Is Palforzia covered by insurance?
Through the Palforzia Pathway Co-pay Savings Program, eligible patients may pay as little as $20 per month for Palforzia with a benefit maximum of $4,000 per calendar year. Eligibility criteria include:
- Taking Palforzia for an FDA-approved use
- Commercial health insurance that covers Palforzia
- Not enrolled in a government-sponsored health insurance program
Is there a treatment for peanut allergy?
How long does a peanut allergy reaction last?
Does Benadryl help with peanut allergies?
Palforzia Peanut Allergy Treatment in New Orleans
If peanut allergies are complicating your life, see a peanut allergy specialist in New Orleans, LA. Doctor Mehta has a reputation for developing strong relationships with her patients and being exceptionally attentive to their needs and concerns. Now offering Palforzia for peanut allergies.
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Saturday appointments available upon request.
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