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Charcoal not effective in many allergies

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FAIRFAX, Va., Jul 10, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Experts are warning that activated charcoal is no substitute for antihistamines or epinephrine in treating severe food allergy reactions.

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network said it's concerned patients will misinterpret the findings of a new Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology study released Thursday.

The article explores the use of activated charcoal as an additional treatment option in slowing or preventing life-threatening reactions to peanut proteins and potentially other food allergens.

FAAN says early news reports on the findings do not mention the practical concerns and the need for physician guidance.

The network says activated charcoal will not stop a reaction that's already in progress, nor will the liquid form stop other symptoms, such as swelling.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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