should i get epi-pen?


I just found this web-site. I just took my 7 month to the allergist and he tested positive to milk, egg, wheat and peanut. However, he acted like it was not too big of a deal since his reactions so far have been mostly on the skin. Eczema, hives, swollen eye, runny and itchy nose. The allergist didn't even say to avoid peanuts all together, just to be careful with them. After reading some of the posts on this web-site I am a little concerned. I'm not sure I've given him anything with peanut yet, except what has traveled through my breastmilk, so I don't know what his reaction may be. Should I insist on a perscription for an epi-pen? I would appreciate your help. Thanks

On May 24, 2000

Definately insist on your allergist prescribing an Epi Pen. It surprises me, maybe I should not be surprised but I am, that they have not already prescribed one and did not tell you how potentially life threatening this allergy can be. Even if he has never eaten a peanut or peanut product his reactions sound serious if it is just through breast milk. It is a fact that just because one reaction was not severe does not mean that the next one will not be. And in some states the EMT's are not allowed to carry epinephrine so even if you called 911 they could not administer it. I would call them tomorrow! You can never be too safe.

[This message has been edited by NaomiR (edited May 24, 2000).]

On May 24, 2000

I agree....definitely get one, and learn how to use it, as well as educate others! Hopefully you will not need to use it, but better to be prepared. As for you the Dr.! WOW....never surprises me how they take it so lightly....have they ever experienced it? more education is of luck to you!

On May 24, 2000

Thanks for your reply. I will request one soon. Just another quick question, are there different degrees of allergy? They said his milk and egg allergy was a 3+, and his wheat and peanut was a 2+, but in the hustle of the appointment I never asked what that meant. Does anyone know?

On May 24, 2000

nlsess, What country are you located in?

------------------ Stay Safe,


On May 25, 2000

I am also surprised that the Dr didnt tell you to avoid peanuts if you are breastfeeding! Contact your insurance and find out how Epi pens are covered. I paid 45.00 for the first one that wasnt covered until I found out that I can only get them filled by a specific pharmacy. This is what I verified with my allergist. No matter wht the score to PA you dont know how he will react with each exposure.

On May 25, 2000

Chris I live in the US. In Utah. Why do you ask?

On May 25, 2000

Im suprised that your allergist has taken this so lightly. Many food allergies can be life threatning. As far as the epi pen goes, "Epi-pen Jr. " is only for infants 27 lbs. and up. My doctor has given me a small vial of epinephrine, for my infant daughter, and a syringe to administer the correct dosage if needed. Also, may I suggest a website called Food Allergy Network. It also has good info.

On May 25, 2000


My daughter was finally diagnosed as milk allergic when she was 1 year. We had many episodes of vomitting, dry heaves immediately followed by deep sleep at 4 months of age. They would not test her until she was a year.

After finding out that she tested positive to milk, soy, egg, the doctors did not prescribe an epipen. I had to ask for one. Thankfully I did because at 15 months I had to use it.

On May 25, 2000

Nancy B:

Your info on the weight for EpiPen Jr is misleading. The pharmacist insert states under Dosage and Administration that, for pediatric use, the appropriate dose is 0.15 mg (EpiPen Jr) vs. EpiPen. Please clarify how much your child weighs. My son was given an EpiPen Jr at 15 months, and his weight was in the mid 20s.

On May 25, 2000

Susan K

If your son weighs twenty-something pounds, an Epi-pen Jr. would be appropriate.But, for nlsess, I am assuming that a seven month old weighs less than 20 lbs. The epi dosage is .01 mg/kg of body weight. So, a 16 lb. baby=7.27 kg x.01=.07 mg of epi. An Epi-Pen Jr is .15, twice the dosage needed. Although in an emergency, more would be better than nothing. I hope this helps. Nancy B

On May 26, 2000

nlsess, I have a peanut and egg allergic son and also live in Utah. He had his first reaction at 11 months to both peanut and egg. When I took him to the pediatrician he didn't want to send him to the allergist for testing until he was older and just told me to keep him away from the foods. After finding and reading all the posts I was scared to death. I called the next day and requested a prescription for epi-pens and a referral to an allergist who diagnosed his allergies at 15 months. So you should definately talk to your allergist about an epi-pen.


On May 26, 2000

Jessica, Thanks for your reply. I've decided on tuesday(after the holiday) to call the allergist and request an epi-pen. Even my non-paranoid husband agrees it's better to be safe when it comes to our baby. I'm just wondering, how old is your PA child now? Has he ever had a bad reaction? Did he outgrow the egg allergy? I'm so hoping my son outgrows at least the milk and egg allergy. I went into my pantry the other day and honestly could not find one thing he could eat. Also, if you live in Utah, what city does your allergist live and is he pretty good? After reading alot of the posts on this website I'm beginning to think the one I went to was not very concerned. It's funny too because the nurse came in the room before the doctor and saw all the welts on his back from the skin prick test and went on and on how horrible a peanut allergy is, her son has one, and scared me, but then the doctor acted like it was really not a big deal, which leads me to my last question, in this long winded reply. Do you or anyone else know, how are the skin tests rated? What does 2+, 3+,etc. mean? Sorry to bombard you with all my questions and worries, but I'm new to the food allergy fears. Thanks.Lynette

On May 27, 2000

Hi Lynette, I'm not an expert on the numbers on the test. I know my pa son tested a 4+ on milk (they didn't do peanut since we knew for sure he was allergic) which they said was severe. All I know now is that 7 months later he eats a container of vanilla pudding about 5 times a week with no problems. He has also had bites of his brother's soft serve ice cream without problems. He is 4 1/2 and seems to be outgrowing his dairy. I'm not pushing it though! He actually could always eat processed foods with whey ingredients (such as waffles, cookies, crackers). I let him try Cheetos again after not having them for about 2 years. He did get a few hives on his chin that went away quickly. I don't know if it was from the dairy in them or something else. Good luck and I'm glad you are going to get an epi or other appropriate med for your child.

[This message has been edited by Lisa M (edited May 27, 2000).]

On May 27, 2000

Lynette, My allergist is in Orem, his name is Dr. Yeates. I have liked him, he seems to be very thorough. When my son was tested they did'nt give me any numbers to measure how severe the allergies were. I know the welt the egg made was larger than the peanut. Are the numbers some kind of measurement of the welt? My son is now 2 1/2 and still has't outgrown his egg allergy as far as I know. I don't know when I will try egg again. Even a tiny bit in something will give him exzema on his face. His reactions have been pretty bad. I would have used the epi-pen if I had had one then, but I had no idea how serious food allergies could be at the time. When he was almost one I gave him his 1st pb sandwich, he had just taken a bite and his eye was swelling, then his lips started swellling until they cracked. I called the emergency room and some guy casually looked up his dosage for benedryl and asked me if he was breathing ok! Luckily, the benedryl took care of the reaction. With the egg, he vomited and broke out in hives all over and again I just gave him benedryl. Since these reactions he hasnt had any major reactions.

Do you know of any support groups in Utah? So far you are the only person I know of on the boards from Utah.

Thanks, Jessica

On May 27, 2000

Jessica, Thanks for the quick reply. I live up in Logan so my allergist is in Ogden. I don't know of any support groups, but I just barely found out my son has all these crazy allergies. I have found a ton of info. on the web. My first time putting the internet to work! I've gone from panic, to hope he'll grow out of alot of his allergies. Anyway, it would be nice to keep in touch with you where we live close. My e-mail is [email][/email]. Hope to keep in touch and I'm so glad you've been able to keep your son from any further reactions. Lynette Also, thanks to all of you for helping to answer all my questions!

[This message has been edited by nlsess (edited May 27, 2000).]

On May 28, 2000

If you do a search on the boards about rast testing there are many posts that explain the number system. However I can tell you briefly that the numbers really don't mean a whole lot.The numbers will not tell you how your child will react.Someone with a 2 can only have hives one time and full blown anaphlyaxis the next and just the opposite can also be true.Someone with a 6 can get only hives/no noticeable reaction or full blown anaphlyaxis. I believe the numbers can only predict the propensity to react and not even that is a guarantee. I look at having an allergy as like being pregnant: you either are or you aren't.

On May 30, 2000

Yes, I would definitely get an epi-pen. My son has had three allergic reactions to peanuts, one at 18 months old, which was very mild; the second at 2-1/2 years old where he required a shot of the epi-pen; the third where he almost died, even after receiving the epi-pen shot. I have forgotten if he was given more epi in the emergency room or not when we got there. Definitely get one. I have discovered that my son's reactions have become progressively worse and he's only had three. Cindy Spowart Cook e-mail at [email][/email]

On Jun 10, 2000

Cindy, My son is 15 months and when I heard you say he almost died even after an epi shot my stomach hit the floor! Could you please tell me the details. Is there anything that we can do to make sure we do not get to that point? Please share your experience. Bonnie