Major boost for kids with peanut allergies as new treatment gets green light on NHS

KIDS with peanut allergies will benefit from a new treatment which has been given the green light to be prescribed on the NHS.

Drug Palforzia will be available to kids from the age of four to 17 and will help reduce the risk of severe allergic reactions.

Following recommendations by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the treatment will be available to patients from the middle of next year.

It's the first preventative treatment for kids with a peanut allergy and works by helping to build tolerance.

Nut allergies can be dangerous and while some are only mild, they can also cause patients to go into anaphylactic shock – which can be deadly.

NHS medical director, Professor Stephen Powis said that the pioneering treatment will be 'life-changing' for both patients and their families.

He added: "Thanks to the deal the NHS has struck, people here will be the first in Europe to benefit.

"It will reduce the fear and anxiety for patients and their families who may have been living with this allergy for years, and carrying around emergency medication just in case.

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"They should be able to enjoy meals out or holidays abroad together without worrying about an allergic reaction that could land them in hospital or worse."

What is anaphylactic shock?

Anaplylaxis occurs when the immune system over-reacts to a trigger. This is normally, but not always, because of allergies.

Anaphylactic shock is a severe and potentially fatal reaction to a trigger such as an allergy.

It normally comes on suddenly, and gets worse very quickly.

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy or faint
  • Fast or shallow breathing
  • Wheezing
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Clammy skin
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Collapsing or losing consciousness

A sufferer may also display symptoms of allergies, such as an itchy raised rash (hives), feeling or being sick, swelling or stomach pain.

Peanut allergies affect one in 50 children in the UK.

The study, conducted by Artemis found that six in 10 four to 17 year olds who reacted to 10g of peanut protein were able to take 1,000mg of it by the end after taking the medication.

Close to 600 kids are set to be treated with the drug.

The Evelina London Children's Hospital took part in two large peanut allergy trials – the Palisade and Artemis studies.

The family of one little girl who took part in the trial, said their daughter's life had changed forever.

Sophie Pratt, who is mum to nine-year-old Emily said that her daughter's issues with allergies 'loomed over them'.

"Since the trial, Emily can go to parties and playdates with confidence, eat in restaurants without us having to call ahead to check the menu, and we've managed to have her first holiday abroad to New York and even taken part in feeding animals at zoo experiences – which is Emily's passion.

"We could not be more grateful", she said.

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