Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

New Treatments Ease Peanut Allergy

Peanut Allergy Vaccine in the Works:Charcoal May Reduce Reactions

Activated Charcoal May Block Reactions

Although the vaccine study may be the most exciting news, JACI Editor Donald Y.M. Yeung, MD, PhD, says another study about using activated charcoal to curb peanut allergy reactions may provide more practical information.

Researcher Peter Vadas, MD, of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues found that drinking activated charcoal immediately after accidental exposure to peanuts can block further absorption of allergy-causing proteins in the body and reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Activated charcoal is available at many pharmacies.

"Many parents have [the charcoal solution] at home to prevent poisoning, and if a patient accidentally ingests peanuts, this may be another approach to preventing a late reaction by keeping peanut in the stomach so it doesn't get absorbed into the bloodstream," says Leung, who is head of pediatric allergy-immunology at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver.

But experts say early use of activated charcoal is by no means a substitute for using standard treatment for anaphylaxis, such as epinephrine (adrenaline), antihistamines, and seeking emergency medical treatment.

New Advances in a Nutshell

Other findings published in the journal include:

  • Regular treatment with an antibody called TNX-901 every four weeks for 16 weeks made patients less sensitive to peanuts, with most patients able to eat almost nine peanuts. Since accidental peanut ingestions usually involve amounts of less than two peanuts, researchers say long-term IgE therapy be an effective way to manage food allergies.
  • Measurement of a particular protein in the blood called peanut peptide-specific IgE may identify those at risk for allergic reactions.
  • People with a history of peanut allergy and peanut peptide-specific IgE levels of 5 or less have at least a 50% chance of outgrowing their allergy.
  • Food allergies, including peanut allergies, may be a risk factor for life-threatening asthma, and undiagnosed food allergies may trigger dangerous asthma attacks in children.
  • Despite common fears, casual skin contact or inhalation of peanut butter fumes will not usually cause a severe allergic reaction.
  • Commercial dry roasting of peanuts actually enhances the allergy-causing potential of peanuts by inhibiting a natural allergy fighter and may help explain why peanuts are such potent allergens.

"Based on the findings, the future looks brighter for the millions of patients and their families who live each day in fear that one bite of the wrong food that contains peanuts might cause a deadly reaction," says Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder/CEO of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?

blowing nose
woman with sore throat
lone star tick
Woman blowing nose

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cat lying on shelf
Allergy prick test
Man sneezing into tissue
Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching