Epi-Pens Nearing Expiry

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The Epi-pen in my purse has an expiry date of 11/00. Yesterday, I went in to pick up one of two that I have on order. The pharmacist there told me that you're able to tell when an Epi-pen is getting old because where the casing part is clear, it starts to turn yellowish. He showed me this on the soon-to-expire Epi-pen, and sure enough, it was starting to turn yellowish in colour rather than clear. My original ? to them was when the expiry said 11/00 did that mean the end of November or the beginning. At any rate, after giving me the new one, with an expiry 1-1/2 years from now, the pharmacist advised that I use the soon-to-expire one AFTER the new one, if need be, because of the casing starting to turn yellow, until I get my 2nd one that the pharmacy is waiting to come in. I thought maybe everyone would like to check theirs to see if they understand what the pharmacist was talking about. I thought this was really helpful. Best wishes [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Oct 21, 2000

What happens if you need to use one that is expired? Will it be effective? Will it harm anyone? We have at least four that just expired in Sept. (and have since replaced them, and was going to use the old ones for practice).

On Oct 21, 2000

Cindy, I was told by my pharmasict that if the clear turns pinkish before expirey that this means it no longer any good. I would not use an expired pen ever. If the due date is 11/00 as one of the ones I have I will no longer use it as of the first of Nov. I have never asked just my gut feeling. Easy for me to say though my drug plan pays for them, so the cost isn't a factor for me to use up the last possible moment. Good Luck. Redtruck, I was thinking the same thing about using old ones for practice, actually to teach our Sunday School teachers the proper way.

Take Care of yourselves!! Jen

On Oct 21, 2000

Oh no, I would NEVER use an expired Epi-pen. What the pharmacist meant, when I left there yesterday, 10/20/0 that if I had to use the two Epi-pens before I got my second new one on probably Monday, to use the new one with the expiry date a year and a half from now and then if I had to use the second one 20 minutes later while waiting for the ambulance to use the 11/00 expiry date one. He also said that as soon as I got my 2nd one to consider my other one no longer any good, which was what I was going to do. I have to ask at Jesse's school if they have had Epi-pen training or not, and if they haven't then I'll take the expired one in for training. Also, this may be hard to believe, but I've never tried to use one myself ever so I could use that expired one for training myself! I'm not sure if my wording wasn't clear but I didn't mean in any way that people should consider using an expired Epi-pen. I just found it interesting that the one that really isn't due to expire for another two weeks is showing obvious signs of age already. With my new ones I'm getting, I'm going to try to remember to see when the casing starts turning yellow, meaning that they're aging, whether it's a month or what before the expiry date. I guess he was basically saying that even though the expiry date was 11/00, my Epi-pen was showing signs of age and wouldn't be as effective as one with a later expiry date. Actually, when I think of that, it kinda ticks me off. I was very fortunate that this pharmacist even mentioned it to me. No, he just meant that should I have to use one over the week-end, to use the newer one first and then the yellowed casing one, expiring 11/00, second, if need be. Somehow I haven't worded this correctly, but it is almost a warning of sorts. I hope this clarifies what I meant by my original posting anyway. Also, Redtruck, I would definitely consider your September ones no good except for training (not that training is "no good"). I guess the whole thing is,if say you're carrying two with you at all times is to use the one with the furthest expiry date away first and then the next one if you have to. Also, Fed Up!, I had asked two different pharmacists what they considered the expiry date to be when it simply says 11/00 - did it mean the end of November or the beginning? I first asked the doctor and he didn't know, he told me to ask the pharmacist. I consider them expired, as you would do at the beginning of November. Again, he just meant if push came to shove over the week-end before I got my second pen to use the 11/00 one second and the new one first to ensure effectiveness. Now, I have to check with Jesse's school and get the expiry dates of both of the pens there too so I can get new ones say a month at least in advance of the expiry date. I wish I knew when this 11/00 one had started to turn yellow, but as I said above, I'll try to keep my eye on the next ones. I've just been fortunate, they're always in the bottom of my purse and I never even look at them! Also, this is a separate rant, but on the topic of Epi-pens, can you believe that a supposedly VERY close relative of my PA son's actually had the nerve to say that having 4 Epi-pens at $89.00 each every year and a half was a lot of money! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] This, from someone that well knows the Epi-pen means the difference between life and death for him. "Oh, you better have a good drug plan...." Sorry, I'd quit smoking first! Duh! I can't even believe those words came out of her mouth but they did. It was unreal and also another reason why I'll never be given one of those bonking wands that someone mentioned on another thread, because, I'm sorry, I would have bonked her out, got her on the bus, and she would have stayed bonked out all the way to Toronto 2 hours away! Best wishes!

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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited October 21, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited October 21, 2000).]

On Oct 25, 2000

In response to the expiry date...Nov 00 or 11/00 means at the end of the November of 2000. Medication expiry dates always mean at the end of the month indicated.

[This message has been edited by Mom of Wonderful PA boy (edited October 27, 2000).]

On Oct 25, 2000

Mom of Wonderful PA Boy, thank-you for your post. The doctor, nurse and pharmacist were not clear. However, this pen does expire 11/00 and it is showing the signs of age that I originally started this thread about. So, for this reason, and also including what the pharmacist said, to use my new one first if I had to and the near expiring one as back-up, I will consider it expired at the 1st of November but simply because it is showing the signs of aging and I'm afraid that it will not be as effective. Had it not been showing the signs of aging, I would have appreciated your information very much and considered it valid until the end of November. Thank-you. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Oct 25, 2000

I have one that also expires 11/00. I looked very closely at the Epi and did not notice any signs of aging that you talked about. Even my husband examined it...we are planning to replace it anyway and will use it on an orange.

On Oct 30, 2000

Everyone - there was a study done this year regarding the use of expired EpiPens. This was covered at the FAN Conference in June 2000. The exact wording of the study follows, along with the names of the researcher/doctors involved, plus the year of the study and the location:

"There is reduction in potency for expired EpiPens, but they still retain enough potency that an expired one should be used if no other one is available. The study did not specifically address the use of an EpiPen if the liquid is discolored." Simons, Gu, MacNair, Semus, Simons JACI 2000 Canada

With thanks to carrie for forwarding this and other information from the FAN (Food Allergy Network) Conference in New York.

On Nov 1, 2000

NEVER, EVER, use an EpiPen when you don't need to. Never use an expired one or one which has "discoloured".

If you think people may need to use one for practice, "trainers" without needle or drug are available from the manufacturers "ALK ABELLO" for a small cost (

On Nov 1, 2000

Nick, I know that there are Epi-pen trainer kits available. Why do you advise against using an expired one for training? I know that it is a drug that we would be putting into the orange, but I'm also fairly sure that all of us would safely dispose of said orange. I was thinking about this to-day because I have one that I consider expired to-day and my immediate reaction is to throw it out and I remembered that I had wanted to keep it for training. I also asked my son, nearly 5, if he wanted to watch me when I did try it out. I'm sorry, I'm just not clear, aside from safety issues, why you would advise against this. Is it because we would not, as individual people have safe disposal practices for the sharps? Please let me know your thoughts as I found this quite interesting and I know quite a few other people that have done this in the past. See, for me, I haven't done it before and I haven't given my son the Epi-pen before so I felt I really NEEDED to do it and why buy a trainer when you have an expired pen? Thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 1, 2000

Cindy...(I think you started this thread?) Anyways, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I read this thread and thought, "Gee, I haven't ever checked my son's epi-pen dates." They expired in April 2000! I felt so bad that I would've used an old epi on him (and I almost did about a month ago). But thanks to you, I got 2 new ones.

Thanks again! Colleen

On Nov 1, 2000

Markus' Mom, I'm really glad that this thread helped you. Actually, the only reason that I checked the date on the one in my purse was because I was required to check the dates on the two at Jesse's school (and now, I can't even remember when they expire, but they are okay for now). I have to ask his teacher if she could supply me with their expiry dates because it took me more than a month to get new ones through my drug coverage.

Don't be too hard on yourself though because when you get new ones, they expire 1-1/2 years from now and unless you're terribly organized (which I am not) then who has a calendar to write down the expiry dates 1-1/2 years away?

Also, as the pharmacist told me, if I had to use the Epi-pen over that particular week-end, to use the new one first and the discoloured one second, so I'm not clear if you giving your child an expired Epi-pen wouldn't be better than nothing (PLEASE NOTE - I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM).

I called the pharmacy to-day because they only had one of the two that I had requested when I picked up the first new one. I wanted to make sure that they have my second one before I use the expired one for a trainer. But now, Nick has me terribly concerned about WHY you shouldn't use them as a trainer. I truly believe I would do it in a safe manner and dispose of the medicated orange and the sharp in a safe manner so I'm not clear why it isn't okay. I'm really hoping to get a response from him.

But, I'm also hoping that Jesse will start to become a bit more responsible for his allergy, I think he is doing great for his age, and that's why I asked him if he wanted to watch me when I trained with the Epi-pen. He'll probably be here when I'm doing it anyway. Again, I'm glad the thread made you check, but don't be too hard on yourself. Yes, they were expired, but also, you didn't have to use them. I know only too well about being hard on oneself and it won't do you or your child any good! Best wishes and thank-you for the thank-you! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 2, 2000

Sorry - I think I must have missed the thread a bit. I didn't see anyone mentioning using an orange. Doh !! Try harder next time, Nick !! ;o)

Naturally, as long as you dispose of both the pen & the orange, it is perfectly safe (unless you stab yourself by mistake !) to use the expired pen as a trainer, with care.

When I purchased a trainer and brought it into work so that colleagues could learn what to do to me if I couldn't manage it, they all - including First Aiders - fumbled around and were completely inept. Using a trainer on yourself or the PA sufferer is better than an orange oranges don't have thighs! ;o) } for learning about positioning and the amount of pressure required to activate the mechanism. It can also bring home to the others just how important it is to get it right.

I just hope I don't have to use it : I am newly diagnosed (early this year) after a couple of "strange episodes" last year. I am paranoid about nut contamination (and sesame, in my case), reading all labels *very* carefully, using only fresh ingredients prepared myself. I'm the cook in our household, so I can control that side of things. It has made eating out potentially very dangerous, as very few restaurants here in the UK seem to know much about PA. One chain who care is Pizza Express : they specifically mention it on their menus. If you speak to the Manager when ordering, he / she will make sure your meal is prepared away from all chances of contamination. 10 out of 10 for effort.

Sorry - I waffled on a bit there !! ;o)

On Nov 2, 2000

Nick, welcome to the board! I'm sorry that we're welcoming an adult PA person who was just diagnosed though! One positive thing is you are aware and becoming more aware and you'll be able to take care of yourself, hopefully. A lot of the discussion that goes on sometimes is because a lot of us are parents with very young children who are unable to administer the shot to themselves, although I'm not clear if you're too far gone in an attack if you'd be able to administer it to yourself anyway, at no matter what age.

Anyway, thank-you for the clarification re the expired Epi-pens. A lot of people have mentioned trying it on oranges and someone else had mentioned that she had better luck with a chicken breast.

I totally agreed with you about the trainers, but for me, for this first time, I thought (and now do again) that trying the expired one would be okay. I was going to check with Jesse's teacher and see if she been trained by the school, but I think she has been. I do think there was nothing wrong with you reiterating that we do it safely and make sure not to jab ourselves (I can just see me trying it now already! LOL!).

Anyway, that clarifies that then. Again, welcome to the board and you'll often find that those of us who are parents rather than sufferers are often looking at the posts an adult PA person makes to try to make sense of it for our child "down the road" and also recognize that our child can lead a normal life (with the exclusion of peanut products) to a good age (we all have the nagging fear in the back of our heads that we're going to lose our children because of this allergy). Again, welcome! Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 2, 2000

Thanks for the welcome. Sorry if there was some form of misunderstanding earlier ;o)

Being an adult - 40-something - and the cook, I can take full responsibility for my peanut / sesame avoidance. Not having any children, however, I can only *begin* to think what a concern a PA child must be for a parent - it must mean living on a knife-edge. My EpiPen and antihistamines go everywhere with me in my "bumbag" - as we call them over here [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I get some funny looks, but hey - that may not be *only* the bumbag!! ;o)

Thanks again for the welcome - I'll have a good look around the site, although it may take some time...

On Nov 2, 2000

Nick, don't worry about the previous misunderstanding or for lengthy posts for that matter! What I find kind of interesting and I'm sure you don't, and I don't mean to be offensive in any way, but we'll be getting the posts of an PA adult who was diagnosed in the 40's! You obviously didn't have it up until now, so it reinforces that allergies of any kind can develop at any age, but I'm looking forward to reading your posts.

Take your time on the site, especially if you are new to dealing with it, you may find it terribly overwhelming and down right frightening. When I first found it, I thought, man, you're BAD MOMMY, but I have since learned that we all have different "comfort zones" when it comes to this allergy, some of us wash down tables in restaurants before we sit down at them (residue issue), some of us don't. You'll be able to figure out what you're doing for yourself and if it's okay or not, or whether you can loosen things up a bit or if you have to tighten them up a bit.

You'll also find that the PA parents will not always agree and there can be some very contentious threads going, don't worry about it. It's back to the comfort zone thing again and some of us have a hard time accepting other people's comfort zone if it's different than ours (I don't). Anyway, again, welcome.

Are peanuts and sesame something you'll really miss in your food eating? I have totally excluded peanuts from my diet because of my son and it's not something I miss, but I also recognize that I'm different on that score too. For example, did you REALLY enjoy Thai food, etc.? Just wondering and being, as Cayley's Mom would say, nosy!

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 2, 2000

Do I miss the Oriental / Indian food? Yup! Darn right I do. Our regular treat when we met up with friends was to go to our favourite Chinese restaurant in London's Chinatown. When we go out for a meal together from work, it's the local Indian restaurant (where my first reaction happened!). I like Greek / Turkish too - and there's nuts & sesame there. Aaaaargh!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Still, one "advantage" - if you can call it that - is that I've lost weight!!

Our house is nut & sesame-free, which is a shame : I was always the "peanuts & cheese" type, rather than the "Ben & Jerry's". Savoury snacks all round. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Peanut butter on toast on Saturday mornings. Houmous as a dip. Sesame seed buns with burgers. All gone. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Don't get me wrong : nuts / sesame are not a major part of life - I can adjust easily enough and be careful to avoid them. I could have something *far* worse wrong with me, so I'm not complaining. I'm just frustrated that it has happened at a late stage in my life, when I'm set in my nut-eating ways.

Back later ...

On Nov 2, 2000

Well, OK Cindy, I'll have to redefine NOSY. Being inquisitive is one thing, but I guess one knows they are being nosy, when the response is - "None of your business!". Fine line there, but I guess I haven't crossed it yet!

Nick - Since you are the cook in the family, are there substitutions for peanut products in the UK? For example, I make Thai food at home with soybean butter in place of the peanut butter - and it tastes wonderful.

Also, the medical info I posted above regarding expired EpiPen usage was distributed to members of the Food Allergy Network, so it is on the level. It says to use an expired (not discoloured) EpiPen IF NO OTHER EPIPEN IS AVAILABLE. The potency is decreased, but it is not dangerous, and better than absolutely nothing. Most people keep note of their Epi expiry dates, but in the slim chance that one doesn't, and a reaction takes place, one should realize that an expired (NOT discoloured ) EpiPen is better than nothing.

Just wondering if you found this information at a UK website. For example, the Anaphylaxis Campaign in the UK, takes a lot of its info from the Food Allergy Network in the United States. No, I'm not a spokesperson, or even a member of FAN, I'm Canadian, but the study on expired EpiPens was done in Canada, so I guess I'm wondering where you found information to refute it. The more medical facts we have on this site, the better, and I would be happy to withdraw my above post, if it was proven to be dangerous to anyone, in any way.

Welcome to the Board, Nick. I, too, am always interested in an adult PA's point of view on things. Take care, Carolyn

On Nov 2, 2000

Hi : yes, I would also use soya in place of anything peanut. When it comes to oil, I use olive - not quite the same, but...

As for the EpiPen thing - yes, I do visit the Anaphylaxis Campaign site. I've visited *dozens* of sites, so exactly where I got my warning,I'm not sure. Certainly, the specialist who tested me said to not use the Epi after expiry, if it was discoloured or had sediment / crystals in it. Personally, I'd rather not take the chance and I have a spare (in case it gets discoloured, damaged or lost) - and the expiry dates are on the noticeboard in the kitchen!! Paranoid, or *what*? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Regards

On Nov 2, 2000

Just out of curiosity: after testing an expired Epi-pen on an orange - how should you dispose of it? At a local support group meeting, a rep from Dey Labs said when one is actually used on a person, to put a penny in the bottom of the epi-pen holder, put the spent epi-pen in, and take it with you to the E.R. for disposal, since you should head there anyway after administering it.

But if you're just practicing with one, do you actually take it to a medical office for disposal? Or just toss it yourself? I won't be dealing with this until March, but am interested in knowing what's acceptable/required.

On Nov 2, 2000

jh5000 - I have always read, in different places, that a used EpiPen should be disposed of "properly". I take that to mean, bring it to a medical facility, such as a hospital, medical clinic or doctor's office, where they can properly dispose of biohazardous material. I wonder where diabetics dipsose of their needles, after they have injected the insulin dose.

I know that the needle in the EpiPen remains extended after use, so I definitely wouldn't just throw it in the trash. There might even be laws against disposing needles in the trash, where they will end up in a landfill. These are just my musings... hope it helps. Carolyn

On Nov 2, 2000

I think the proper and safe thing to do would be to take it to the nearest medical facility. I'm fortunate in that regard because mine is right next door and have them dispose of it "properly". However, and I don't mean to suggest that people shouldn't dispose of it "properly" or that I won't be doing so either BUT, considering the fact that we are using them on whatever food we choose to practice on, there is no worry about needle sharps that there would be had they been used on a human (i.e., AIDS, Hepatitis, etc.). I would think that if you put the penny in the bottom as suggested above, wrapped it separately and put it in the garbage, it wouldn't present a real problem. AGAIN, I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT ANYONE DISPOSE OF THEM NOT "PROPERLY AND SAFELY". Yes, Cayley's Mom, I wonder too what diabetic patients do with theirs - I don't know any diabetic people. Perhaps they are provided with mini-containers for bio-hazardous waste, who knows? And then, of course, there are the drug addicts that just dispose of potentially high risk needles on the street. Me, I'll put a penny on the bottom as suggested, otherwise I'll be scared to death 'til it gets there, and take it to the Medical Centre next door. I'll make sure that I practice at a time when they're open. Oh, also, when Jesse had his last reaction, I had the used Epi-pen in my purse, which I showed the ER doctor so he would know that Jesse had had the Adult Epi-pen and he would not let me take it back, he indicated that he wanted it disposed of properly. Makes sense. I'm just thinking that since we're not coming into anything contagious in an orange hopefully, that it might be okay if you didn't rush to the nearest medical facility if you took strong precautions with it in your regular garbage. Interesting thinking going on though.....

Oh, Nick, I'd like to respond to your last two posts "properly" later. Quickly, and off-topic all together, do you watch Coronation Street?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 2, 2000

is it really a biohazard if it has been used on an orange instead of a person? I mean, other than having a sharp point, if the medication has been pumped into the orange, there is no risk of transmitting something like HIV, etc. after using it on an oraange I would just make sure its wrapped up thoouroughly and disposed of so that no one could accidentally cut themselves, same as with a sharp piece of glass, etc. Just don't eat the orange LOL!!!

On Nov 2, 2000

Agreed..if it is used for an orange there is no biohazardous waste issue...just the sharps...The idea of a penny in the bottom to prevent the needle from poking through is fantastic...You wouldn't want to be taking out the trash or having the Garbage man/woman picking it up and get an injury from the sharp!

If an Epipen does punture flesh (accidently or is used to treat a reaction) it should accompany the patient to the hospital and be disposed of in their biohazardous waste sharps containers.

I personnally did use my just expired epi-pen on an orange...actually my husband did as he has never injected a needle...I have plenty of experience at work. He was nervous and a little lost on how it was used so it was a good experience for him, it also gave him and our son opportunity to see the size of the needle used to perform the injection. I had not read this wonderful hint about the penny so my husband took pliers and bent the needle around so the sharp end pointed back at the barrel of the syringe, then we put it back in the original container and wrapped it well in newspaper so it would not come to the outer part of the garbage...BUT I AM NOT SUGGESTING OTHERS DO THIS!

Better off with the penny and still to wrap it to keep from the being a hazzard to the garbage carriers...best is a sharps container at a hospital....Hmmm...I think Diabetics at home use a container...be it a ice creme pail or coffee can and store their used needles periodically bringing them to a health care facility for proper disposal.

[This message has been edited by Mom of Wonderful PA boy (edited November 02, 2000).]

On Nov 3, 2000

To Cindy : re Coronation Street... I only watch it when forced to do so, although "the boss" never misses it. Luckily, it is on the "box" just when I'm preparing the evening meal & there's no TV in the kitchen... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Sometimes, the meal is prepared a little early and I do catch the episode...

On Nov 3, 2000

Nick, I was sorry to hear that the peanut and sesame allergy would have such an impact on your food eating. I thought perhaps it might because of what we assume are diverse ethnic foods prevalent in England. As for Coronation Street, I guess I'll have to talk to "the boss" then, although you're a couple of months ahead of us. I've found a really great website where I can go in and watch the English versions right on the computer! LOL! When I first found it, I went in and caught up on two months worth so I wouldn't have to watch it on the TV. But, I was up half the night doing so and decided quickly not to do it again. Anyway, again, welcome, and also, I didn't think you were being paranoid by posting the expiry dates of your Epi-pens on the 'fridge. I wish to be so organized - actually, I have two munchkins who like taking everything like 'fridge magnets and stuff off the 'fridge so it wouldn't be any good there either. Maybe a note pasted inside a cupboard. No, I don't think that's being paranoid at all - you are simply terribly concerned and rightfully so. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 3, 2000

the company that makes Epi-Pens will send you a notice in the mail when yours are about to expire if you fill out a form that comes with the Pen when your presecription is filled (at least in the U.S.) If you don't have this form, try calling the manufacturers and see if this service is available to you.

On Nov 3, 2000

Excellent post, Mom2Mom! I'm going to check with the Canadian manufacturer.

I just phoned the pharmacist and asked him what to do with the used Epi-pen, given that it would be used on an orange. He reminded me that the orange would be full of the medication and advised to smash it and wrap it really well before putting it in the garbage. I'm not sure if there are any animals out there that scavenge for oranges.

As far as the sharp, he felt that it was biohazardous despite the fact that it is being used on an orange. It is simply because of the fact that there is a needle involved. He suggested after I do my practice thing I bring it to the Medical Centre for proper disposal.

Of course, do you think I asked this question when I was in the pharmacy or even when I was having bloodwork done this morning? No! I had to phone the pharmacist when I got in! But, I did get Jesse's other Epi-pen, so I have two new ones in my purse now. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 6, 2000

Nick, I was interested to see you live in the UK and have epipens. Were your "strange episodes" severe? What did your allergy tests show? Ther reason I am asking is because we to are from UK and are having difficulty getting epipens prescribed for our son. On the disposal of epipen issue, I work for a homeless project and therefore occasionally come across syringes used for illegal drug use. I have been told to put them in a glass or plastic bottle, seal it with the original lid and either dispose of it in the household waste or take it to the chemist. Diabetics have a syringe bin (called sharps box) which is exchanged when full at the chemist. Registered drug users have these also.

On Nov 7, 2000

To Pdaisey... and anyone else, of course [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I had no problem with getting EpiPens - in fact, my repeat prescription has me down to purchase up to 99 - 1 at a time - if required.

The "episodes" (numbers 1 & 3) were what could be described as frightening. Pounding heart, hives, shortness of breath, swollen throat & lips (like after a dentist's injection) and then passing out. On both occasions, I came round after a minute or so, but was taken to hospital on both. The first time they kept me in overnight, as I hit my head when I fell and was a bit concussed; the second they just observed me for 3 hours, having given me some Piriton. Episode #2 was whilst I wa very sleepy in bed, so what probably happened was that I passed out & mistook it for going to sleep again.

After the 3rd episode, I went to my GP and discussed the possibilities. He agreed with my diagnosis - nuts being the only common substance I had ingested in all 3 episodes. An appointment with the specialist was arranged and he advised me to get an EpiPen and always carry Piriton. The specialist and I had a long discussion. The RAST blood tests were done. She stressed the importance of always having a spare EpiPen @ home, due to the fact that it can take 3 days to get a repeat prescription if one gets lost or damaged or becomes unuseable. She also stressed that I shouldn't use one which had expired, has sediment or was discoloured. She showed me an EpiPen trainer (no drugs, no needle) and advised me to get one for family, friends & colleagues to see and try out on me & themselves. She said that it was important to let people see a person at the "business end" of the pen & feel the amount of pressure required, as that would bring home the importance of the injection. Safe disposal @ a doctor or hospital was also recommended.

Sorry if I have waffled on a bit [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Nov 7, 2000

Nick, I rather like your waffling on! It's better than my babbling! LOL! Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 7, 2000

Why,thank you,kind lady!! I've always been a bit verbose, but at least when I raise an issue with some software I'm testing, everyone knows how to track it down !! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Nov 15, 2000

Nick, Cindy referred me to this thread since I need some information on food labelling in the UK. We will be attending a wedding in London next year. Just the thought of leaving Toronto with my PA daughter is frightening. Can you provide me with any information on your food labelling laws. I read somewhere that in the UK, if an ingredient doesn't make up 25% of the food, it does not have to be listed as an ingredient. Is this correct? Also, do people in the UK know much about this allergy. Are restaurants/hotels accommodating?

For now, I have decided not to take my daughter unless I get some reassurance from some source that visiting London would be safe for my daughter. You can send me an e-mail on this if you wish. Thank you.

On Nov 15, 2000

Sorry, Caterina, when I referred you to this thread to find Nick, I meant that you would be able to find him having posted in here definitely so that his e-mail address, if he had one, would show up and you could e-mail him from the board. Do you know what I mean? I'm not clear that he will back into this thread specifically, I simply knew that he had started posting in this thread, so to find a post for him with his e-mail address, you would be able to find one here. Do you know how to do that? If you look at the name and then there are either 3 or 4 symbols beside the name of the person posting, the second symbol in, if it looks like an envelope that you would put in the mail, is the e-mail address. If you click on that for the person you want to e-mail, it will take you right out of the page and let you e-mail them from the board. I'm not sure that I'm being clear. Anyway, what I'd like to do, since I'm sure I've thoroughly confused you, is e-mail Nick and ask him to refer back to this thread for the questions you have posted for him. And, before I do that, I'll check to make sure that you have an e-mail address listed as well. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Nov 16, 2000

To Caterina. As far as I am aware, what you have said is correct. However : restaurants are required by law to hold a listing of all ingredients of all dishes and are obliged to show you if you request to see it. Some, such as Pizza Express (care re the name) - look at their website to find restaurants = [url="http://www.pizzaexpress.co.uk"]www.pizzaexpress.co.uk[/url] - are very aware of nut allergy. Their menus list dishes which include nuts. They say on the bottom of the menu that if you ask to see the duty manager when ordering and tell them of the seriousness of your allergy, he / she will ensure that your food is prepared away from the remainder, to avoid cross-contamination. This has always worked for me. They are the only restaurant I use now... In fact, the Regional Manager for London has been in contact with me on this - she has youngsters in the family who suffer and so she ensures that NA gets a high profile with ther management team.

Most supermarkets, such as Sainsbury's, Tesco, Marks & Spencer (the ones I use) are pretty good with their labelling, especially of their "own brands". They put warnings directly under the "Ingredients" section if there is anything which may cause a problem in the food. This includes nuts, milk, egg, fish, soya etc. - they are now aware of just how many people suffer. Hey - it makes shopping a 2-hour task, reading all the labels, but what the heck... At least I know the food I'm buying from them is safe.

Cindy has e-mailed me - feel free to do so if you wish. It is included in my "Profile".

Best of luck...

On Nov 16, 2000

Dear Caterina, I consider the UK to be safer than the US and Canada for the peanut allergy because here there is not such a big thing with the peanut butter. OK people eat it and it was in fact what my son reacted to but days go by when I never see a soul eating peanuts or peanut butter, (except at the moment with christmas causing nut mania to hit our supermarkets) I have found most things to be clearly labelled and the law which you refered to most companies chose to ignore and state wether their products contain nuts simply because of the food allergy problem. From what I can gather from visiting this site your son will be as safe in the UK as he is in canada. Of course their is always the risk but i think the risks are fairly comparible and probably the same problems as in canada. Sorry about my terrible grammer in this post, i hope you can understand it. By the way, our family has been invited to stay in Toronto and we have declined the invitation for the time being because we too are worried abou travelling overseas with our son, but I think i would much rather visit another english speaking nation than travel to europe with the nut allergy.

On Mar 5, 2002

I found it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I'm simply re-raising this thread for Concerned Mom who has a current thread going on re expired Epi-pens.

Just some different input from some time ago.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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