Asthma Medications May Lessen “Life-Threatening Reactions” to Food Allergies, According to a Study

Asthma Medications May Lessen “Life-Threatening Reactions” to Food Allergies, According to a Study

Researchers have discovered that omalizumab, a medication frequently used to treat asthma, may also be able to reduce children’s “life-threatening reactions” to food allergies.

Omalizumab, which is marketed under the brand name Xolair, is a medicine that is authorized for the treatment of severe, ongoing allergic asthma.

The primary author of the study, Dr. Robert Wood, a pediatrics professor at Johns Hopkins University, stated in a statement that “the fear of accidental exposure to food allergens consumes the day-to-day life of patients with food allergy.”

“Our findings have the potential to be very meaningful, and potentially even life-changing, for people with food allergies,” he added.

Increased Resistance to Dietary Allergies

With the exception of three individuals, all 180 study participants were under the age of 17. For four to five months, the subjects were given either omalizumab or a placebo.

The injection known as omalizumab functions by attaching itself to and inhibiting immunoglobulin E (IgE), the molecule that causes allergies.

Every study participant had a history of at least two additional food allergies in addition to a peanut allergy.

Next, the researchers watched as the patients responded to consuming little amounts of foods that cause allergies.

Just 7% of the placebo group were able to consume 600 mg or more of peanut protein without experiencing serious side effects, compared to roughly 67% of those on omalizumab.

Consistent outcomes were also noted for other prevalent dietary allergies, such as eggs, milk, and almonds.

Aspire to a Higher Standard of Living

According to a statement by Professor Sharon Chinthrajah of Standford University, “food allergies have significant social and psychological impacts, including the threat of allergic reactions upon accidental exposures, some of which can be life-threatening.”

The two main strategies for managing food allergies are avoiding allergens and seeking emergency care if an unintentional exposure occurs.

“A majority of people not only reached the primary endpoint of 600 mg or more of peanut, an amount that exceeds most accidental exposures, but also the majority of participants tolerated 4,000 mg of peanut protein, which is equivalent to about 15 peanuts,” said Wood.

Of the individuals, around 69% were able to endure 1,044 mg from two foods, and 47% were able to tolerate the same amount from three foods.

Wood continued, “We discovered that omalizumab is effective for seven different food allergens, which makes this unique.”

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Omalizumab this month to treat food allergies in some adults and children one year of age or older as a result of the results.

However, the study indicated that 14% of the respondents had very low tolerance, thus patients should still carry emergency therapy.

“Patients impacted by food allergies face a daily threat of life-threatening reactions due to accidental exposures,” Wood said.

Omalizumab may provide a layer of defense against minor, unintentional exposures, according to the study.

Up to 10% of Europeans are said to suffer from food allergies.

Sanchita Patil

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