When to use Epi?


I had a reaction this weekend, and we don't know to what. I did use a seasoning packet (McCormick- called the company, no peanuts), but the rest was fresh veg. and some wine.

Anyway, I took a Benadryl before heading to the urgent care. The Dr. there was glad that I did not use my epi pen. My allergist, though, said I should have. My symptoms were itchy lips, swelling lips, had to go to the bathroom right away, dizziness, and later, a few hives. My skin was very itchy. They gave me pred, benadryl, and pepcid at the urgent care with instructions to continue for five days.

My question is, when do YOU use your epipen? I am afraid of doing it, I never have. My CAPRast for peanut was negative, so I haven't really been thinking I was very allergic. Don't even know if that is what caused the exposure this weekend.

When to use it, and once I do, am I going to feel like I am having a heart attack? I am so afraid of that thing...

On Nov 14, 2008

It is my understanding that you should use it when there are many symptoms involved in the reaction. I looked at my child's food allergy action plan and according to it, you had the mouth ...itchy lips, swelling lips... the skin...very itchy gut...bathroom right away heart... dizziness I would say listen to the allergist... it probably was a time that warranted the use of an epipen.

I have not had one, just given to my child, so don't know what it feels like.

A nurse once told me to use an expired pen to practice...stick it into an orange or grapefruit. I did this and felt confident enough to know what to expect.

Hope you are feeling better and that some of this helps.

On Nov 14, 2008

I've never felt like I was having a heart attack when I have had to use my epi, although I wouldn't know what having a heart attack is like, I'm only 20. But after my first anaphylactic reaction where I didn't use my epi right away, almost died as a result, I have used my epi every time I have multiple symptoms (racing heart, severe stomach cramps, swelling of my lips, tongue, and throat). All my tests for peanuts and tree nuts came back negative, except for the food challenge. I would listen to your allergist.

On Nov 15, 2008

I still don't really know if what I had was a reaction or anxiety.... I pray that one of the foods tested for comes back positive, so that I can at least avoid that.

I had tingly lips and the stomach stuff and waves of dizziness, but my breathing and throat were never compromised. I am just very confused and this is all so new and very scary for me. How do you handle the anxiety and living with constant risk and fear? I'm terrified.

On Nov 16, 2008

I really don't live with a fear of reaction, otherwise I would go crazy. I take the necessary precautions like keeping wipes and hand sanitizer with me. I read all the labels and have learned to stay away from certain brands of foods and products.

I live my life as I normally would, but I ask a lot more questions when it comes to eating at restaurants looking for roommates for next year. The risk is always there, but I really don't think about it much, when I'm not buying food. It helps to know that I have a great support system in my fianc

On Nov 19, 2008

Could it have been the wine?


On Nov 19, 2008

That's exactly what I thought. The wine. But my allergist (who is a jerk, and I am going to a new one very soon) said that sulfites or wine would not cause that type of reaction, only asthma or red skin. So he just wrote it off. I really thought it COULD have been the wine, in fact when I was getting ready to pour it, I tasted a little and thought it tasted odd. Did not taste like that wine usually does to me. So the reaction could have started there. But I don't know. I felt pretty good when I thought I had figured that part out... but then my allergist just stopped that when he said no way.

On Nov 25, 2008

Five years ago, my brother-in-law had two reactions within a week of each other, where he had diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea. The first one resolved on it's own. The second one, he ended up almost going into shock, and couldn't breathe. He received epi in the ambulance. He does not have known food allergies, but both times, my sister had made salad dressing, or a meal or something where she used McCormick seasoning. They never figured out what it was that caused the reaction, and she never bought McCormick again. He carried an epipen for a while, but has stopped (which I think is crazy, but what can I do?).

On Nov 25, 2008

OH. MY. GOSH. That is just bizarre. I do not believe I will be using anything McCormick again, either.

Was it seasoning packets, or just one of their spices?

Very, very odd. So he doesn't have any known food allergies?

I go tomorrow for testing. I am really nervous, but my dh thinks they will all be negative. He still thinks I had an anxiety attack.

On Nov 25, 2008

I want to say that it was in the seasoning packets, but I'm not sure.

On Nov 28, 2008


I recently experienced 2 reactions very similar to what you posted. Thought I'd share a little more with you. Both times people suggested I was having an anxiety attack. Both times I had a rash, the second much worse. I don't know if you can cause your body to have a rash from anxiety, maybe possible. But, the second reaction my pulse-ox was in the 70s, which is not good at all, and I really don't think an anxiety attack could have done that. I went to an allergist and "clinically" I was told of the things (just a few to start with) that were tested were negative. But, that is not what I saw from the skin test. I decided to try one of the things that I supposively am not allergic to (and had by the way before both incidences which landed me in an ambulance with lights going). And, guess what, I started having congestion, asthma but to something I am supposively negative to. Science is as good as the tests and not always perfect. A good doctor will not just discount a test but also consider patient history. I know have an Epipen and inhaler from my regular doctor, not allergist who discounted my concerns and history.

Listen to your body and what you feel it is and try eliminating it if you can. I know this is hard to do when you are not even sure what it is, as have experienced it myself.

Could it be the wine? Sulfites in the wine? And, I am one who gets hives from wine, wine coolers, haven't tried it in a very long time because I would always be congested and break out. Maybe a McCormick's spice that could even be contaminated with something else too?

Listen to your body and get a doctor who will listen to you. Best of luck!

On Dec 8, 2008

Possibly useful: [url="http://the-clarkes.org/stuff/ana.html"]Anaphylaxis Grading Table[/url]. It's adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics (there's a link to the original at the top of the page), but none of the stuff it lists seems age-group specific, so it should apply to adults as well.