do we need an epipen?

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our son (3 yrs) had his first reaction to peanuts 5 weeks ago. He ate a small amount of peanut butter, and almost straight away he was sneezing, he had hives and his mouth, face and eyes swelled up. He also turned bright red. He does have mild asthma and was coughing a little bit during the reaction. I took him to the hospital where they gave him some antihistamines. He settled down and they let him out 3 hours later altough he remained slightly swollen for 2 days. Her has since had skin prick testing and an oral challenge which he racted to very dilute peanut solution but only mildly. The peadiatrician said I do not need an epipen and to administer the antihistamine in a future reaction and phone for the paramedics if necessary. Is this right, or should we carry an epipen? This is perhaps the way it is in the UK as I dont know any other peanut allergic people.

On Oct 11, 2000

Is there any way you can get a second opinion from an allergist? It has been my experience that a lot of paediatricians aren't well-versed in allergic reactions. An emergency room doctor told me my daughter didn't need an EpiPen, and her allergist said to get one right away and gave me a prescription for 2 of them.

My daughter's reaction was hives, drooling and vomiting - no swelling or difficultly breathing and no asthma present - and we were advised to get the Epi. I have a website link for you to click on - It is dotpharmacy based in the UK. This article describes reactions and Epi-Pen usage - it is geared toward pharmacists advising their customers after purchasing an EpiPen. I found it quite useful. [url="http://www.dotpharmacy.com/upnuts.html"]http://www.dotpharmacy.com/upnuts.html[/url]

I am from Canada, but there are a few other posters from the UK - Gwen Thornberry and Orla to name 2. Welcome to the board and do read a lot of posts - some will make you nervous, but some will calm you down - just take what you need! Good luck, Carolyn

On Oct 11, 2000

It sounds to me like you definitely need an Epipen Jr.! I would get to an allergist for sure and I am sure that they will prescribe one for you. The reaction that you described is an anaphylactic reaction and that is the determining factor for getting an Epipen.

On Oct 11, 2000

Your child suffered an anaphylactic reaction and does need and Epi-pen prescribed! Best wishes and welcome!

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On Oct 12, 2000

Hi PDaisey

Yes, you definately need the epi-pen (except the brand we use is Ana-pen). I was tested when I was younger, but it wasn't by my GP and for some reason my mother never told her about it. When I had my last reaction I decided to say it myself (I hadn't even heard about adrenaline injections before that) and my doctor immediately prescribed one for me.

Of course, there is always the chance that your son will never need it (fingers crossed), but it's best to err on the side of caution.

Take care

Gwen

On Oct 12, 2000

No one can predict how serious the next reaction will be. Maybe it will be serious and maybe it won't. You just do not know. That is something that is very important to know when you decide how you deal with PA. Andy

On Dec 4, 2000

I would just like to inform everyone that today we finally recieved two epipen juniors for our son. I feel so much better now we have some protection against the dreaded peanut. The doctor phoned up out of the blue and said there was a prescriptoion for me in the hospital pharmacy and a nurse would be bringing it round to my house to train us in the appropriate use. At last! And just in time for all the christmas holidays.

On Dec 4, 2000

What a relief! Good for you and your child!

On Dec 4, 2000

pdaisey, thank heaven! Finally! And yet, good timing as you mentioned! Now, here's hoping you never had to use them. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Dec 5, 2000

I'm glad you've got your epipens, but I thought I would put my two cents in for anyone else who might be reading this thread and wondering the same thing. When my daughter had her reaction (thankfully only one so far) she had hives and swelling of the face -- eyes and lips especially, but no breathing difficulties. The ER doctor said that allergic reactions are usually either hives (skin) or respiratory, but not both, so he thought that was a good sign. However, both her pediatrician and her allergist said her reaction was NOT just hives. Since she had swelling of her mouth that meant that mucus membranes were reacting, and the next time there could be respiratory involvement (which is essentially mucus membranes). So any kind of swelling like that is very serious. As an aside, I asked her allergist how I should differentiate between using Benadryl and the Epipen, and he said any swelling use the Epipen immediately. If the reaction is truly just hives, then just use the Benadryl.

On Dec 5, 2000

The one thing one can say for sure is that one reaction may well be different from another reaction. That is why I have an epi pen. There is a huge risk to not getting one and I do not know of any downside to getting one. Andy

On Dec 11, 2000

Yes, you need an epipen; From age 3, I had relatively minor reactions to peanuts (redness, hives, swollen throat, wheezing) and was treated with antihistamines. At age 40, I had the full reaction, anaflaxis and nearly died. It is not unreasonable to be prepared!

On Dec 20, 2000

I have six

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