If your child is at-risk for severe allergic reaction your allergist may prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector. These tools work to inject a dose of epinephrine which treats allergic reactions by preventing your child’s throat from swelling and closing up. Severe allergic reactions can occur when your child encounters a food they are highly allergic to, gets stung by an insect, or even has a reaction to a new medication. Of course, severe allergic reactions occur in adults as well. If you have severe allergies, talk to your allergist about prescribing an epinephrine auto-injector.
Often, with a less-severe allergic reaction, antihistamines will work just fine as an option for stopping symptoms like swelling at the site of a sting or stopping a rash and itching. However, an epinephrine dose should be injected immediately if you suspect anaphylaxis since anaphylaxis can be life threatening. For specific signs of anaphylaxis in children, click here. Epinephrine can be administered using an epinephrine auto-injector. The amount of epinephrine injected is based on weight.
There are several varieties of epinephrine auto-injectors on the market these days. Some, like the EpiPen, are quite expensive. One we often recommend to patients is the Auvi-Q. The Auvi-Q works like most other injectors. You inject epinephrine into your child’s thigh at the first signs of a severe allergic reaction. When activated, a voice prompt will walk you through the steps to administer the epinephrine. In the midst of an emergency, this voice prompt can be quite helpful!
Remember: you should have an auto-injector available at all times if you or your child is at risk of anaphylaxis due to a severe allergic reaction. Keep one in your home, work, school, and with you when you travel. Epinephrine auto-injectors should not be left in a hot place, like a glove compartment. Room temperature is ideal for these devices.
If you have questions about Auvi-Q and epinephrine for anaphylaxis, call Dr. Hallett! He’s happy to help.