What does using the Epipen feel like?

10 replies [Last post]
By Cayley's Mom on Wed, 05-24-06, 17:45

I'm trying to gather some quotes for a project on severe allergy and tried looking through some older threads to find out how people described the Epipen injection. Didn't find much about it.

When speaking recently with people I've been told that "I was pretty scared at the time so I didn't really feel the pain much" and "I felt better so fast I forgot about the pain."

Can anyone describe how it feels, for allergic folks who have never had a reaction severe enough to warrant injection? If you're not comfortable posting on the boards, please e-mail me in confidence at [email]"mcarolynblack@rogers.com"[/email]. Thanks.

Carolyn Black

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By StartingOver on Wed, 05-24-06, 23:21

I had to give my son the EpiPen one time. He had been terrified of it but was surprised at how little it hurt. It has helped to alleviate his fear of using it himself.

I can't give more specific details but I hope this helps.

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By McCobbre on Thu, 05-25-06, 00:16

I'm going to paste from a post I made on January 20 in the Adults board under a GI reaction thread. I had an anaphylactic reaction from shellfish.

"I started feeling the Epi after about 3-4 minutes. I didn't feel uncomfortable. It didn't hurt much during the injection (only about 4 hours afterward). I didn't experience the bad side effects I used to when I used to go to the ER for asthma attacks as a kid and was treated with epinephrine. I drove myself home [after 4 hours] when I went home. I wasn't jumpy. No pounding heart."

I injected myself in front of my PA DS, who is 8--was 7 at the time. I let him count how long I held it in--he counted to 15, and after I rubbed the injection spot, I let him.

It stung some while when I injecting myself, but not that much. I remember telling DS, "It's not so bad at all!" while I had it in my leg. I remember the soreness afterward, and that was worse. I had a bruise afterward, but I also bruise every single time I train someone with the EpiPen trainer. I bruise easily. So that wasn't unexpected.

Interesting fact: it completely tore my pantyhose. No big deal--I thought it might. I pulled up my skirt and went through my hose. If it's not immediate need (and my reactions tend to be slow GI reactions--not the immediate kind my son has), and I like what I'm wearing, I'll pull my skirt or pants up before injecting next time, too. I would never worry about this for DS with his peanut reactions, but I tend to pay much more for my work clothes than his clothes. Of course, if were really an immediate need for me and I couldn't accomodate that wish, I would go through the clothing. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited May 24, 2006).]

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By JenEmm on Thu, 05-25-06, 02:39

My mother had to inject it in me since my reaction was so severe (peanuts). I remember feeling nothing at all. I guess it was shock. When I was on my way to the ER in the ambulance I was dosing in and our of consciousness. Upon arrival, the Dr's gave me more meds. and I started to have the shakes. All said and done it was the scariest and most awful experience of my entire life. But thank god for the Epipen.

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Jen

www.theallergicmom.blogspot.com

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By lisa from Australia on Thu, 05-25-06, 03:23

I have used my Epi-pen twice (I think) and whilst it's scary it only hurts about the same as most injections. I seem to remember a small bruise and the injection did sight hurt slightly for a couple days later but I must admit I would rather a small bruise and a bit of discomfort than the alternative! It is a good idea to get hold of a trainer as it does give you a feel of how the pen works.

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By Cayley's Mom on Fri, 05-26-06, 17:07

Thank you all very much for your input.

I understand about the anxiety that children and teens feel when they think about getting an injection, and I wonder if this anxiety - both their own and that of those around them - sometimes leads to the Epipen being administered too late to be effective?

When breathing problems start in a food-allergic individual the Epipen should be the first course of action, inhalers and other meds should be second. Unfortunately it's very often the other way around and I'm trying to find the right words to reassure food allergic teens that thinking "Epi first; inhaler second" is the right thing to do. Your input has certainly helped, thanks again. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Peg541 on Fri, 05-26-06, 23:09

We tried to be right out and honest with our son that the epi pen will hurt but like any injection the pain goes away pretty quickly.

What choice does he have? He who hesitates is lost and he knows and has always known that (he's 21.)

I don't like that word SHOT. I always said INJECTION. Don't know why but I do remember hearing mothers saying "if you don't behave the doctor will give you a shot." Stupid.
So I said injection in case he heard someone say that in his presence. SHOT implies shooting while INJECTION implies medicine and help (to me anyway.)

First time we used epi our son was 14 so we had a big advantage there over those of us with little ones. He said "*&^% that hurt, we go to the hospital next right?"

I think I have this work ethic kind of thing I taught my kids. Just do it and get over it. If I tell you this injection will save your life you do it, do not hesitate, do not obsess how much it will hurt, TRUST Me and DO IT.

He was 5 when diagnosed and he heard all of this early on. Worked for us.

Good luck to all of us.

peg

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Peggy

Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By agodfrey0201 on Thu, 06-08-06, 22:48

Hi. Over the years, I've had to use the Epipen about four times. It really goes in so quickly that it doesn't hurt, and the relief I got from the allergic reaction was very dramatic and quick. Each time, in about a minute it seemed I went from feeling like I had just swallowed caustic acid that was spreading throughout my body to feeling like the acid had neutralized and was replaced with cool water. Afterwards, I felt pretty sleepy for awhile.

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By k9ruby on Sat, 06-10-06, 19:44

i know that if i have anything more than hives, mild non facial swealling or itchy eyes/sneezing, i will have epi.

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By dgood on Sat, 06-10-06, 23:06

When I gave it to my daughter at age 2.5, she was laying on her back and she cried for only a second. I remember she jerked her leg slightly when I injected it so the needle created a tiny sideways slit in her skin rather than a single dot hole. Just remember to hold the leg still while injecting. She didn't seem to have any affects and she didn't complain of soreness. But she did have a little slit and bruise on her leg to painfully remind me of the incident for quite a while!

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DD (age 4) - allergic to peanuts, some tree nuts, egg whites, dogs, cats, environmental allergies

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By hopechapel on Sun, 06-11-06, 02:24

I stupidly injected myself thinking it was the trainer. I felt the needle ---uh no. No, it did not really hurt so bad -- just surprised me. However, I've been shy of those things ever since -- I kind of wince when I hold one -- so my nervous system defintely registered it.

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