31 Oct

Anaphylaxis and EpiPen

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency where a substance triggers a massive allergic response. This causes a combination of rash, swelling, breathing problems and large drops in blood pressure.

The number of people with anaphylaxis is increasing with up to 2% of the population at risk.

Common triggers

Foods, particularly peanuts, are a common trigger for anaphylaxis. Medicines like penicillin, as well as insect bites and latex are also common triggers. New Zealand research has shown that for people older than 15 years of age, anaphylactic reactions to seafood is the biggest cause of hospitalisation here.

Anaphylaxis occurs quickly, often within minutes of exposure to a trigger, and it can take several hours for the full reaction to occur. 

Symptoms

Ninety percent of anaphylactic reactions involve sudden onset of rash, swelling, tingling or flushing of the skin and throat.  Other symptoms include breathing issues; shortness of breath, wheeze and difficulty breathing, very low blood pressure leading to collapse and shock, and crampy abdominal pain and vomiting.

Treat with EpiPen®

Treatment for anaphylaxis is a simple adrenaline injection into the thigh muscle, using an EpiPen adrenaline auto-injector.  EpiPen provides a safe method of injecting adrenaline without medical training or risk of needle stick injury.  EpiPen can be used through clothing, so there is no need to place the EpiPen against the skin. Antihistamines and anti-inflammatory steroids e.g. prednisone are not effective first line treatments, but can be used after a reaction has been treated with adrenaline.

People who have experienced an anaphylactic reaction should always carry an EpiPen with them. There are two strengths of EpiPen – EpiPen Adult and EpiPen Junior – with the correct dose based on the child’s weight.

Get your EpiPen from ZOOM

EpiPen has a short expiry as adrenaline in solution breaks down quickly and then won’t work.  New EpiPens have 12 months of useful life and require replacing every year. Regularly check through the EpiPen window that the liquid is clear, colourless and free of sediment.  Some patients have multiple EpiPens, particularly school aged children, with one EpiPen Junior kept at each place where the child regularly spends significant time. 

It’s a easy process to buy your EpiPens from ZOOM Pharmacy, A simple chat with one of our pharmacists is all it takes. Check out our great EpiPen price of just $119.50 (incl GST) which includes delivery to home or work. And ZOOM will always ensure your EpiPen has the longest expiry date available.

As one customer put it “Epipens are expensive and this service is completely hassle free. Great price, great expiry and quick delivery.”   

To find out more, simply call 0508 966 622 for a chat with one of our pharmacists.