Palforzia Peanut Allergy Treatment Q&A
The FDA recently approved Palforzia for peanut allergy treatment in children and teens. In this Q&A, we break down what families need to know about Palforzia.
What exactly is Palforzia?
Palforzia is a prescription medicine made from peanuts, designed as a treatment for people who are allergic to peanuts.
What are the main benefits of Palforzia?
Palforzia can help reduce the severity of allergic reactions to peanut, including anaphylaxis. It's meant to help in situations where your child is exposed to peanut by accident.
Who can take Palforzia?
The FDA has approved Palforzia for children and teens ages 4-17 who are diagnosed with a peanut allergy. Someone can keep taking Palforzia as an adult if they started this treatment when they were a child or teen.
How does Palforzia work?
Palforzia is an oral treatment (given by mouth). It's a powder made from peanuts. A child taking Palforzia is given small, pre-measured amounts of peanut over several months. The dose of peanut gradually increases over time.
How much peanut is in Palforzia?
The amount of peanut powder in a capsule starts out very low, and gradually increases to a daily maintenance dose of roughly one peanut.
How do you give Palforzia to your child?
Palforzia powder comes in color-coded capsules that you pull apart, so you know you're giving your child the right dose of peanut powder. You don't just give the powder by itself. Rather, you mix the Palforzia into soft foods like yogurt, applesauce or pudding, and have your child eat the food with the powder.
Can my child eat peanuts while taking Palforzia?
No. Your child must eat a strict peanut-free diet when taking Palforzia.
Can Palforzia treat other food allergies, beyond peanut allergies?
No. Palforzia only treats peanut allergy. It isn't a treatment for any other food allergies, such as egg and milk allergies.
Can Palforzia treat allergic reactions?
No. Never give Palforzia when your child or teen is having an allergic reaction.
Palforzia is not an emergency treatment for an allergic reaction. Palforzia users must still carry EpiPens to treat severe allergic reactions.
Could Palforzia cause an allergic reaction?
Yes. Since Palforzia is peanut-based, it can still cause allergic reactions, including severe ones. If your child has a severe allergic reaction to Palforzia, give an EpiPen and call 911, like you would with any severe reaction.
Are there special procedures for starting Palforzia?
Yes. Patients starting Palforzia always receive their first dose in a healthcare setting, under observation of trained healthcare staff. Patients also receive their first dose of each dose increase in a healthcare setting. This way, doctors can watch patients closely for any symptoms of an allergic reaction.
How can people gain access to Palforzia for their children?
Right now, Palforzia is only available through a strict program called the Palforzia Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program.
How much does Palforzia cost?
The list price of Palforzia is set at $890 per month. This comes out to more than $10,000 per year.
Is Palforzia a cure for food allergies?
No. Palforzia only treats existing food allergies. It doesn't cure food allergies, and does not prevent food allergies before they start. There is still no proven cure for food allergies, so prevention is still the best defense.
How can I help prevent children from developing food allergies?
Landmark studies and clinical guidelines show that introducing babies to peanut, egg, and milk early and often is the best way to reduce their risk of developing an allergy to these foods. Start giving your baby peanut, egg, and milk between 4-11 months of age. Then, continue to feed baby these foods multiple times a week for at least several months.
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.