What is it?
Palforzia is the first of its kind treatment for patients age 4 to 17 who have a history of confirmed allergy to peanuts. Palforzia comes as a powder that is made from peanuts. It will come in a capsule form. The capsule is emptied and mixed with a small amount of applesauce, yogurt, or pudding that is swallowed.
What does it do?
Though there is no “cure” for food allergies, Palforzia can be prescribed to help reduce the likelihood of a severe allergic reaction to peanuts with accidental exposure, including anaphylaxis. It is NOT an emergency treatment for anaphylaxis.
How does it work?
The exact mechanism of how Palforzia works is not known. However, just like other types of oral immunotherapy, exposing peanut allergic patients to small amounts of peanut protein over time can potentially reduce the likelihood of a severe reaction. The amount of peanut protein from Palforzia is increased gradually over the course of several months.
When will I see benefits?
Scientific studies showed a reduction in allergic symptoms after patients were on a maintenance dose of Palforzia for 6 months when challenged with a dose of 600 mg of peanut protein (about 2 peanuts).
What are the side effects?
The most common side effects reported included abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, itching, cough, runny nose, throat irritation, hives, asthma symptoms, and anaphylaxis. No fatal reactions occurred in the clinical trials.
How much does it cost?
The annual cost of Palforzia falls in the middle of the $3,000 to $20,000 range. It is not known at this time whether insurance companies will cover a part or all of this cost.
What do I do?
Palforzia is a very new treatment option. It is not appropriate for all patients. Please talk to your doctor at BVAAC/DAA to get more information. Remember, Palforzia is not a cure for peanut allergy. Peanut avoidance and having injectable epinephrine available for treatment of an allergic reaction remains the mainstay of management.
The Physicians and Staff of BVAAC/DAA
For the full FDA Press Release, click here.