Epinephrine Auto-Injectors For Anaphylaxis

Severe allergic reactions can cause your body to suffer from anaphylaxis.  Anaphylaxis is a result of a severe allergic reaction.  These allergic reactions could be caused from foods, insects, medications, or even latex. Anaphylaxis will happen 30 to 60 minutes after exposure.

Symptoms of this can be swelling of lips, tongue, metallic taste, itching in the mouth, throat swelling, difficulty swallowing, swelling around eyes, hives, redness, paleness, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, chest pain, and heart palpitations.  You do not have to have all of these symptoms at once.  Some people may suffer from just one of them, but it will be severe enough to know that your body is having an allergic reaction to something.

Some of the most common foods that can cause allergic reactions are peanuts, tree nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, shellfish, cows milk, hen eggs, fish, soy and wheat.  Insects such as yellow jackets, wasps, honey bees, fire ants and spiders can cause allergic reactions from their venom.  Things such as exam gloves, and balloons can cause latex allergic reactions.


Find A Good Allergist

It is important that if you feel as though you suffer from severe allergic reactions to something that you see an allergist.  The allergist will be able to know how to test you for your suspected allergy. An allergist can do a skin prick test that will test you for over fifty different allergens that are the most popular all at once. Another test they can do is a skin injection test, or a patch test.  The patch test monitors delayed symptoms that may not appear immediately after contact.  

If you do have an allergy to something continuous monitoring is best to help manage your allergy.  Some people can even outgrown certain allergies, so being tested regularly and following up with your doctor can be beneficial.


Epi-Pen for Severe Allergic Reaction

If you suffer from a severe allergy your doctor may prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector. The name brand of this is the Epi-pen. This is an auto-injectable device that delivers the medicine epinephrine.  It can be a life saving drug for people that have a severe allergic reaction.  

Epinephrine in the body constricts blood vessels.  This increases the body’s blood pressure and decreases swelling.  When this happens the muscles relax, they can help open up the lungs in the cases when there is difficulty breathing, and it will stop the allergic reaction from continuing.  Epinephrine is the only drug that can work on the entire body at once, multi-system, multi-organ.  

An epinephrine auto-injector is only needed when your allergy is severe enough to result in anaphylaxis.


Know How To Use Your Epi-Pen 

Making sure you truly need a prescription for this medicine is very important.  Some people may need an auto-injector for a small amount of time, and then they will grow out of their allergy.  People who have an auto-injector need to know exactly how to use them.  Usually when people suffer from a severe allergic reaction who have an auto-injector and it isn’t used; it is because they don’t know when and how to use their auto-injector. Each device is different making sure you are well educated on your specific one is important.  As well as if your child has an auto-injector, all people who are taking care of your child should be shown how to use it.

Most injectors are meant to be injected in the fatty part of the thigh for the medicine to work correctly.  You do not want to inject muscle or bone, or the effects of the medicine will not work.  It is important to keep the medicine at room temperature.  They should not be kept where they could get too hot, or cold.  You should use your auto-injector as soon as symptoms of a severe allergic reaction start.  This is usually 30 to 60 minutes after exposure.


READ MORE:  Anaphylaxis Aftermath: 10 Important Steps To Take After An Allergic Reaction


Injection Mistakes

Miss injections can sometimes happen.  This can be done when someone who is unaware how to use the auto-injectors accidentally injects themselves.  

There are some symptoms that could happen if you have an injection when it is not needed.  There could be temporary numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.  Pain and swelling at the injection site.  It can also cause elevated heart rate or heart palpitations.  Increased blood pressure and potential heart attack are also symptoms of a miss injection. It is also important to use your auto-injector exactly as prescribed.  

You can overdose on epinephrine.  Overdose symptoms include blurred vision, weakness, sweating, pounding in ears, chest pains, and slowed heartbeat.  Following up with your doctor if you feel like you experience any of these after using your auto-injector could be best. 


Final Thoughts

Epinephrine auto-injectors are used when a severe allergic reaction ends in anaphylaxis.  This can be caused by food, venom, medications or latex.  If you see that you are having an allergic reaction to something, having regular appointments with an allergist can be beneficial to help you maintain life with your allergy.  Allergies can come and go, so keeping up to date with allergies can be important.  At one point you may need an epinephrine auto-injector, but eventually may grow out of the need for one. 


Anaphylaxis will happen 30 to 60 minutes after exposure.


HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

User Reviews


Your email address will not be published

8 + 14 =