When would I use the Epipen?


My 4 year old son had allergy testing done a few months ago and he came up allergic to peanuts, among other things. The allergist didn't prescribe an EpiPen because Spencer has had peanut butter numerous times before (before we knew he was allergic) and never had a reaction that we noticed. In retrospect, I do think it made his eczema act up worse, but he never had any of the classic allergic reactions like hives or difficulty breathing.

I took the kids for their checkups the other day and mentioned this to the regular ped. He said that Spencer should have an EpiPen just in case and that just because he hasn't had a really bad reaction before doesn't mean he'll never have one. So now I have 2 EpiPens, one for home and one that I left with his preschool along with the doctor's instructions (use the pen first, call 911, then call me).

One thing the doctor didn't really explain to me is when to use the pen. Obviously, I'd use it if Spencer couldn't breathe. But when else? What is considered a "normal" reaction that you would just use Benadryl for and what's considered serious enough to use the pen? I try to avoid Benadryl with my son because it makes him psycho hyper but I have used it when he was itching badly (after I fed him Smuckers Natural peanut butter, which was before I knew about the allergy).

I read the patient insert that came with the pens but it just says to use as the doctor instructed. TIA!!

On Apr 27, 2002


Can someone please help? I don't know how to send a link from a previous post.

There is a thread on the Main Discussion Board titled something like "At What Point do you use epinephrine?" the last post was March 8, 2002.

DaMom, I understand your concern as I've never had to use the Epipen either. My son's doctor wants me to play it safe and use it at first sign because my son has asthma and is at higher risk for anaphylaxis. You should call your son's allergist and ask him to help you with an action plan.

Take care and I hope you find the thread!

[This message has been edited by Love my C (edited April 27, 2002).]

On Apr 27, 2002

Well what do you know. I did it!