If you have used an
epinephrine shot to treat an allergic reaction or have
been accidentally stuck with an epinephrine shot, call your doctor. You may
need more medical care. An accidental stick in the hands or feet may stop
blood flow to these areas.
Keeping everything you need together in
one place (allergy kit) can help you deal with a severe allergic reaction
Your allergy kit should
- Simple instructions about how and when to use the
kit. You can get this from your doctor.
- Sterilizing swabs to
cleanse the skin before and after the shot. You can buy these at a pharmacy or
- Epinephrine in a preloaded syringe. This is prescribed
by your doctor.
- Antihistamines, such as Benadryl
or Chlor-Trimeton. These may be
over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor.
Be aware that:
- Medicines may lose their effectiveness if they
are exposed to sunlight or temperatures above
88°F (31°C) or below
- Medicines expire.
Check expiration dates, and replace your medicines as needed.
the color of your medicines. Epinephrine should be clear. A solution that is
pinkish brown should be thrown away.
Always keep an allergy kit with you. And it's best to keep
extra kits in several different places, such as at home and at work.
Don't leave epinephrine in cars or bags that may be left where the temperature
gets too hot or too cold.
Epinephrine usually comes as a preloaded, automatic,
self-injecting syringe, such as an epinephrine shot. To be safe, carry two
Epinephrine also comes in doses for
children. Children who are at risk of severe allergic reactions should keep
kits at school or day care as well as at home.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
May 25, 2011
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