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FDA is one step closer to approving first peanut allergy treatment

Updated: September 16, 2019 07:39 PM

The FDA is close to approving a way to treat patients with peanut allergies and it involves giving them small, daily doses of the food they are allergic to.

A panel of government experts voted to recommend the therapy on Friday.

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The treatment is called oral immunotherapy and involves daily capsules of peanut powder to help patients build a tolerance over several months.

Dr. Doug McMahon has actually been offering the treatment for more than a year at The Allergy and Asthma Center of Minnesota.

New treatment for food allergies under FDA review, popularity growing in the Twin Cities

"We've been studying this treatment for a long time," he said. "This can help a lot of people."

Even though these experimental treatments are on the verge of becoming mainstream, it doesn't mean they are easy.  He says oral immunotherapy is still tedious, time consuming and can be risky if you are not monitored by a doctor.

"It's not so easy as taking a pill and getting a cure," McMahon said.

The FDA will make an approval decision in January.  It typically approves treatments recommended by the panel. 

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Ellen Galles

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