He did it! The little guy completed the first visit in the clinical trial and did great! The trial itself will last at least one year from start to finish. The final four months will be eating the equivalent of one whole peanut a day, each day. The first 8 months will be a gradual build-up with bi-weekly clinic visits to get to that one peanut dose. Today's visit was a big deal because the little guy had the opportunity to eat up to six doses if all went well and he could handle it without side effects. By eating six doses, he would be able to knock 6 visits, or 3 months, off the study. I was quite nervous for him. He seemed pretty relaxed since he didn't really know what was in store for him!
We started in the clinic at 12 noon. He had his vital signs taken, lung sounds assessed, and then the allergist had the first dose of peanut solution in a small syringe and squirted it in his mouth. He was then required to wash the solution down with juice. The solution tastes very salty but has no peanut taste at all. After about 5 minutes he told me he had a bump on his lip. There was an area of enlargement so the allergist came to look at him and assess him. Evidently the liquid solution can be very irritating to the mouth and if there are any chapped lips or sore areas it can cause swelling or irritation. We all watched him and he went on playing ipad and after about 20 minutes the symptoms subsided. By 12:30 he was doing well so the allergist proceeded to obtain his vital signs again and he took his second dose of peanut. This time we mixed the solution directly in the juice for him to drink and he had no problems at all. So this is how the little guy's day went--every 30 minutes he was reassessed and given an escalating dose of peanut until he reached 6 doses! The only other side effect he had was some itching on his neck with the last dose that got a little red, but never turned into hives. It subsided after about 45 minutes. It was a long day in a tiny conference room and we went through a lot of activities to distract him and keep the mood light--coloring, reading books and playing games on the ipad. Plus, the allergist wanted him to eat snacks between each dose to keep his stomach settled. It made me full just watching him eat! Finally at 4 PM we were ready to leave!
Mission accomplished! The little guy actually ate 1/100th of a peanut today. One peanut has the equivalent of ~300mg of peanut protein. His first dose was 0.1mg of protein. Pretty small. Every 30 minutes his dose was doubled--0.1mg, then 0.2mg, then 0.4mg, 0.8mg, 1.6mg and the last dose was 3mg. All in all he actually ate almost 6mg today. Tomorrow we will return to clinic to eat the last dose he completed today, 3mg, just to make sure he tolerates it before the allergist sends us home with 14 syringes full of peanut! He was so brave. His Daddy and I couldn't have been more proud of him.
Did I mention he will have blood work done tomorrow?.......