Will PALFORZIA Cure My Peanut Allergy?
No – PALFORZIA is designed to reduce sensitivity to peanut and thus reduce the risk of accidental reactions. If it proves effective, the child needs to continue to have a small amount of peanut in their diet on a regular basis. Without this, they will be allergic again.
How Often Do I Have to Take PALFORZIA?
There are three (3) parts of the process: the initial dose escalation phase, up-dosing phase, and the maintenance phase.
- The initial dose escalation phase must be completed at the start of the process and involves 5 increasing doses of peanut protein given at short intervals under direct medical supervision. It takes 4-5 hours and is also an opportunity to explain the whole programme to you in detail. As long as the doses are tolerated, you can progress to the next stage the following day.
- There are eleven (11) steps of the up-dosing phase. The first dose of each up-dosing level is given at Gt Ormond Street Hospital for Children under direct supervision, because this is when there is the highest risk of a reaction. If you tolerate the first dose of a new level, you will continue to take that dose level every day at home. PALFORZIA should be taken with a meal at the same time each day. You will return to the Gt Ormond Street clinic every two (2) weeks during the up-dosing phase although this can be longer if preferred. Once all eleven (11) up-dosing steps are complete you will begin the maintenance phase.
- During the maintenance phase you will continue to take 300 mg of PALFORZIA every day. After completion of a year of treatment, you may wish to move from the PALFORZIA to peanut in a more natural form e.g. peanut butter.
How Do I Take PALFORZIA?
PALFORZIA is a powder product that is emptied from a capsule or, with larger doses, a sachet and mixed with a small amount of a semi-solid food such as pudding, applesauce, or yogurt. It is important to note:
- PALFORZIA capsules cannot be swallowed.
- PALFORZIA powder cannot be inhaled.
- PALFORZIA cannot be mixed with a liquid.
- Always wash your hands immediately after handling PALFORZIA.
What Side Effects Should I Expect with PALFORZIA?
Side effects are common but are usually mild. The most common side effects are stomach pain/cramping and itching of the mouth or throat. These symptoms are usually mild and typically do not require intervention. Antihistamines, or reducing the dose can be helpful if these are problematic. It is important to be aware that PALFORZIA can cause severe life-threatening reactions, known as anaphylaxis, in the same way that peanut in other forms can do. Symptoms include but are not limited to: trouble breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, throat tightness, trouble swallowing, swelling of lips, face, tongue or eyes, dizziness, fainting, severe stomach pain, vomiting, and/or diarrhoea. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop PALFORZIA and seek medical attention immediately. You will be trained in recognising and treating severe reactions at the start of treatment.
Do I Have to Keep My Epinephrine Auto-Injector?
PALFORZIA is not a cure for peanut allergy. It is important to continue a peanut-free diet and continue to carry an epinephrine auto-injector wherever you go.
Can I Take Extra Doses of PALFORZIA to Speed Up the Process?
PALFORZIA can only be taken once a day as prescribed. You cannot make adjustments to your PALFORZIA dosing as this will increase your risk of a severe reaction.
Will PALFORZIA Treat Any of My Other Food Allergies?
No. PALFORZIA is a medication derived from peanuts and is used exclusively for the treatment of peanut allergy. It will have no impact at all on your other food allergies.
Who Should Not Take PALFORZIA?
Patients who have Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE) or uncontrolled asthma should not take PALFORZIA. Also it is only suitable for patients age 4-17 years.
If I Am Over 17, Can I Still Start PALFORZIA?
No, PALFORZIA is only approved for treatment for patients aged 4 through to 17 years.
Can I Take PALFORZIA Before Bed?
You should stay awake for one hour after taking PALFORZIA in order to monitor symptoms. PALFORZIA can potentially cause serious adverse reactions so it’s important to be awake.
Can I Exercise Before or After Taking PALFORZIA?
In order to prevent the risk of an adverse event, you should not exercise or take a hot bath or shower for three (3) hours after taking PALFORZIA. If you have exercised or taken a hot shower or bath do not take PALFORZIA until you have cooled down, are not sweating, and your heart rate is beating at your normal rhythm.
If I Am Sick, Should I Skip My Dose?
If you are sick you should contact our office to discuss this with the clinician as certain illness can potentially increase the risk of an adverse event. No adjustments should be made to the dose without consulting one of our clinicians.