Here Are the Allergy Treatments of the Future
In the future, patients might have more than just allergy shots and over-the-counter pills to combat food allergies.
The scientific community has been making significant headway toward understanding the real causes behind allergies and they have been developing news ways to treat them as well, according to The Week. Scientists are also working on new treatments that might neutralize allergies before they even start, the source noted.
"I foresee that a lot of allergy therapies will become more and more specific and targeted, and more customizable to the individual patient," Andrew Long, lead investigational drug pharmacist at Stanford's Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research, told The Week.
One of the treatments getting a lot of attention right now is a skin patch called Viaskin Peanut to treat peanut allergies. There are an estimated 3.2 million people living with peanut allergies in the U.S., according to The Verge. This patch might make a huge difference to people since there are currently no FDA-approved drugs to treat peanut allergies, the source noted. Allergy shots are not a safe treatment option for peanut allergies because reactions to the allergen can be so severe, the source explained. The patch slowly releases peanut protein into the body through the skin and lasts for 24 hours until a new patch needs to be put on.
Scientists at Stanford are also working to create a treatment that can deter the effects of many different food allergens at once. Called desensitization therapy, researchers are hoping that by slowly introducing individuals to certain food allergens – and by also giving patients a drug called Xolair – common allergens such as peanuts or fish will eventually become harmless to affected individuals, The Week reported.
Experts in Japan are experimenting with DNA to see if they can directly inject allergens into human cells, and thereby develop an immune response capable of getting rid of the allergy altogether, The Week reported. All of these drugs are in the early stages of development, and it is unclear when they would be available for widespread use.
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