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What should people with severe allergies know about epinephrine?

What should people with severe allergies know about epinephrine?

English Transcript

Allergist Sakina Bajowala, MD: If you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction, the two most important things you need to know about epinephrine are when to administer it and how to do so properly.

When you’re experiencing a severe allergic reaction, you may experience multiple symptoms from different organ systems such as a combination of hives and abdominal pain or runny nose and a tight throat or you may experience a single severe symptom such as hives covering your entire body or severe shortness of breath after exposure to an allergen.

If any of these things occur, you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis, and it’s time to administer epinephrine. To do so properly, if you have an epinephrine auto injector you’re going to remove it from its case and then place and press on the largest muscle of your thigh and then hold it the injector down for anywhere from 2 to 10 seconds depending on the auto injector brand that you have.

Once you lift up, please reach out to your health care team for further guidance on how to make sure you stay safe. And if you are worried that you’ve experienced a severe allergic reaction but you don’t have a prescription for an epinephrine auto injector, it’s time to reach out to an allergist so you can get properly evaluated.

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