Peanut allergies can lead to something called anaphalactic shock. Not pleasant when it is your child’s airway that closes up.
Many of these families have to carry around a shot of epinephrine (“epi-pen”) to open up the airway if they are exposed to even the smallest amount of a peanut. In some cases merely being next to someone eating peanut butter can be enough to trigger a reaction. Hence the disappearance of peanuts on airline flights.
What if something could be done to derail an allergy this severe?
I’ve written before about using drops for allergies (referred to as subligual immunotherapy, or SLIT). The process is pretty simple: after some simple in office allergy testing, a solution is prepared that the child would put under his or her tongue daily. That’s it.
This has been shown to be effective for several problems, including dust mite allergies.
This particular study tackles the use of drops for allergies for those with peanut allergies. More importantly, this is one of the first studies to evaluate the effectiveness of allergy drops in toddlers. Here’s the details:
- The study was done on 41 children aged 16- to 37-months-old, with treatment lasting up to 3 years
- In the first 12 children who were able to tolerate 5 grams of peanut protein, subsequent blinded oral challenges 1 month apart were successful in all 12
- Allergic reactions using the sub-lingual drops for allergies were cut 44%.
A couple things to consider.
First, this was not published in a peer reviewed journal because it is the early stages of the study. Rather, this was a presentation at an annual conference (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 2013) by one of the study authors.
Despite this, these results are consistent with other studies done in non-toddler populations on the use of drops for allergies. Given the major impact of potential anaphalactic reactions and the safety of sublingual immunotherapy, the future for natural allergy relief like this is bright.