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Self-administered epinephrine

Food allergy is a common cause of anaphylaxis, and early treatment with epinephrine can be life-saving. Also, allergy to insect venom is IgE mediated. Untreated, it occasionally terminates fatally and often causes temporary illness. Emergency self-treatment kits (Epi-Pen and Epi-Pen Jr., Center Laboratories, Port Washington, N.Y.; Ana Kit, Hollister-Stier, Spokane, Wash.), if promptly and intelligently used, may reverse most moderate sting reactions and acute food allergies Some severe reactions require aggressive therapy [1].

A substantial number of physicians practicing emergency medicine are not providing appropriate aftercare instructions to patients, and substantiates the need for educational efforts to increase the awareness of physicians concerning the implications of hymenoptera allergy and the value of proper preventive measures [2].

Many parents of severely food-allergic children, and food-allergic teenagers cannot correctly administer their self-injectable epinephrine and may not have the medication readily available. Pediatricians are not familiar with these devices and may fail to review their use with patients. Improved patient and physician education is needed to ensure proper use of this life-saving medication[3].


Valentine MD. Insect venom allergy: diagnosis and treatment. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1984 Mar;73(3):299-304.

2. McDougle L, Klein GL, Hoehler FK. Management of hymenoptera sting anaphylaxis: a preventive medicine survey. J Emerg Med. 1995 Jan-Feb;13(1):9-13. 3. Sicherer SH, Forman JA, Noone SA. Use assessment of self-administered epinephrine among food-allergic children and pediatricians. Pediatrics. 2000 Feb;105(2):359-62.

Γκέλης Ν.Δ. - Λεξικό Αλλεργίας - Εκδόσεις ΒΕΛΛΕΡOΦΟΝΤΗΣ - Κόρινθος 2013

Gelis Ν.D. - Dictionary of Allergies - VELLEROFONTIS Publications - Corinth 2013