Epinephrine auto-injectors are the treatment of choice in severe life threatening allergic reactions, also known as anaphylaxis.

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include, shortness of breath, wheezing, hives, tongue or lip swelling, throat swelling, light headedness or dizziness.

“Upon experiencing an allergic reaction, patients often have feelings of anxiety and impending doom. It’s important for them to try and remain calm, and either administer it themselves, or have someone immediately inject epinephrine into their outside lateral thigh. Approximately 20-30% of patients will need a second dose.”

Dr. Luis Melgar

Southtowns Asthma & Allergy Center

What to do in the event of an allergic reaction

Studies show the major cause of death in anaphylaxis is failure to administer epinephrine. That’s why it’s so important to remember the treatment for anaphylaxis is epinephrine, epinephrine, epinephrine.

If you or someone you know is having an allergic reaction, you should immediately inject epinephrine into the person’s outside lateral thigh.

Patients, after each and every epinephrine injection, should go straight to the emergency room or call 9-1-1. Further treatment with oxygen, IV fluids, antihistamines and anti-inflammatories, such as corticosteroids, may be necessary to prevent the late-phase or delayed allergic reaction.

Follow up with a local allergist is also highly recommended for further evaluation and treatment.

Epi-Pen & Other Epinephrine Injectors

The most popular epinephrine auto-injectors are the brand name, Epi-Pen.¬†Recently, the cost of this brand name medication rose by 600%. As the preferred treatment for severe allergic reactions, there’s been serious concern from people about how they will access this potentially life-saving medication.

In response to this, the manufacturer has made a generic version. Also, some coupons may be available online. Another manufacturer, Mylan, also recently released Auvi-Q, another epinephrine auto-injector.

Dr. Luis Melgar, Southtowns Asthma & Allergy Center

Find an Allergy & Immunology Specialist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112

Find an Allergy & Immunology Specialist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112