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First treatment for peanut allergy approved by FDA

Children and teens swallow a peanut powder in tiny but escalating doses, to train their bodies to better tolerate peanuts.

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first treatment for children with peanut allergies. Allergy experts say Aimmune Therapeutics' Palforzia promises to lower the chances that an accidental bite of peanuts causes a severe reaction, but it's not a cure. 

Children and teens swallow the peanut powder in tiny but escalating doses, to train their bodies to better tolerate peanuts. The treatment can cause side effects, possibly serious reactions.

Credit: AP
In this Jan. 10, 2020 image from video, 18-year-old Nina Nichols prepares to take her dose of Palforzia in her home in Washington. On Friday, Jan. 30, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved Palforzia, the first treatment for peanut allergies in a big step toward better care for all kinds of food allergies -- but still a long way from a cure. (AP Photo/Federica Narancio)

So the FDA says patients and doctors must enroll in a safety program and that each dose increase is given in a certified health facility.

Credit: AP
In this Jan. 10, 2020 image from video, 18-year-old Nina Nichols takes her daily dose of Palforzia as her mother, Maria Acebal watches, in her home in Washington. On Friday, Jan. 30, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved Palforzia, the first treatment for peanut allergies in a big step toward better care for all kinds of food allergies -- but still a long way from a cure. (AP Photo/Federica Narancio)