epipen & benadryl

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 8:14am
bobs1234's picture
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Joined: 09/15/2004 - 09:00

hi all - new here. have a PA 4 year old. we carry epipens everywhere. we're always freaked out that he'll eat a peanut, we'll stab him with the epipen, and then hope the ambulance gets there within 15 or 20 minutes. it's too scary to think about what would happen if the ambulance didn't get there ... but a friend just told us that according to her research, we should carry a bottle of benadryl around with us instead of the epipen as that's all the hospital would give him anyway when he got there.

could someone here with some expertise please clear this up for us as it's driving us slowly insane!!

thanks!

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 9:24am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Please go to this site and read everything you can find about food allergies.
[url="http://www.foodallergy.org/"]http://www.foodallergy.org/[/url]
Do not listen to any advice from friends who don't know what they are talking about.
Benadryl does not replace an epi pen. We are instructed to use the epi pen and then give a dose of Benadryl while calling 911.
In the hosptial they do a heck of a lot more than just give Benadryl. With a big enough reacion you might spend hours or days there so be prepared. They are saving your child's life.
Do not hesitate to use the epi pen and don't refer to it as stabbing your child, think of it as saving his life.
Also you do not need to stab away with an epi pen. You can administer it in a very controlled manner without stabbing.
Peggy

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 10:02am
b and c's picture
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Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

Please do not listen to your friend!
We're not going to repeat what Peggy just posted. We just want you to know that everything she wrote is on target with what our allergist told us to do.
Now, relax. As long as you are careful and aware of your surroundings, things will seem less stressful. There is a ton of great information on this site, so just surf for answers and post your questions. We're all here to help one-another.
Welcome to the posts
Brian and Cindy

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 10:02am
wendysco's picture
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Joined: 05/03/2003 - 09:00

Our advice also is epi-pen, benadryl and 911. Once at the emergency room it is not uncommon for them to administer more of both epinephrine and benadryl, but also steroids and I believe even Tagamet now (my Dad is anaphylactic to bees and was in ER in the spring). Breathing treatments are also necessary sometimes, don't take any chances, carry your epis as well as benadryl.

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 1:59pm
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

bobs1234,
Your allergist can confirm this for you, but you should take comfort in knowing that if you were dealing with a major event (e.g. earthquake - I see you live in CA like me!) and medical help didn't arrive right away, then subsequent injections can be given after 15-20 minutes. I believe the max. is 3, but our emergency plan calls for a 2nd injection to be given after 15-20 minutes if symptoms do not improve or are worsening. We have multiple Epi-Pens at our son's school to account for such possibilities....

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 2:37am
DebO's picture
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Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

Hi and welcome
We also carry multiple epipens both in case of an ambulance delay and in case we mess something up or have a problem with the epipen.
We do not carry benadryl for peanut allergy and our plan is not to give it in conjunction with the epipen.
Your best bet is to discuss this with your allergist or your pediatrician if you still are not sure of what to do.
take care
deb

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 10:59am
ElleMo's picture
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Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by bobs1234:
[b]but a friend just told us that according to her research, we should carry a bottle of benadryl around with us instead of the epipen as that's all the hospital would give him anyway when he got there.
thanks![/b]
I would find out what hospital she is referring to and go to another one! ;-)
We had a paramedic speak at a recent allergy support group. If the ambulance is staffed with paramedics (who can adminster drugs, as opposed for volunteers, who cannot) they will most likely begin giving IV epiephrin (sp?) and steroids to stabilize your child on the way to the hospital. I am not sure exactly what the ER will do, but I am sure it is in similar vein to that.
------------------
Ellen
Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 3:30pm
solarflare's picture
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Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

In the emergency treatment plan our allergist office gave us, we were told the following.
[list][*]* if it's a couple of hives and nothing else, start with a dose of benadryl, if it escalates, use epi-pens and dial 911
* if there are many hives, any swelling or other symptoms of anaphylaxis, give the epi-pen first, then a dose of benedryl, then dial 911.
* there was something on it about suspected exposure to the things his anaphylactic to, but don't remember exactly what.[/*:m][/list:u]
Upshot is, don't listen to your friend
The only time we took Jason into the ER for an allergic reaction, the main thing they gave him was prednisone.
[This message has been edited by solarflare (edited September 17, 2004).]

Posted on: Fri, 09/17/2004 - 12:53am
ElleMo's picture
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Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

Perhaps she is referring to this study (see below) & if she is, she missed the point that *NOT* prescribing epinephrine is incorrect treatment:
ER Responses to Allergic Reactions Questioned
by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter | Feb 09 '04
If you wind up in the emergency room with an allergic reaction to food, chances are you won't be treated according to allergists' guidelines.
That's the conclusion of a new study that also finds too few emergency room patients receive epinephrine, the recommended standard treatment for allergic reactions to food.
The problem, says lead researcher Dr. Carlos A. Camargo, of the Emergency Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, is that many patients with allergic reactions receive different care than that recommended by allergists.
[url="http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/HealthDay/2004/02/09/405226?extID=10032&oliID=213"]http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/HealthDay/2004/02/09/405226?extID=10032&oliID=213[/url]

Posted on: Sat, 09/18/2004 - 8:03am
Shaylynsmom's picture
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Joined: 01/17/2004 - 09:00

Just speaking from our personal experience with the paramedics and dd's anaphylatic reaction, when they arrived they gave epinephrine and then a dose of benedryl.
DD's second anaphylatic reaction we were already in the emergency room and the ER doc gave epinephrine right away but no benedryl.
Our allergist has also written emergency health plan as follows: if only hives, give 1 teaspoon benedryl, if hives and other symptoms, use epipen,Jr., call 911 and give 1 teaspoon benedryl.
------------------
Alicia, mom to:
Edward-21 years- sulfa drugs
Cody-9 years- grass,tree,weeds,mold,mosquito
Shaylyn-4 years-PA/TNA,all legumes,all peas,egg,dog,cat,molds,weeds, Amoxicillian,Zithromax,Asthma

Posted on: Sat, 09/18/2004 - 8:49am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I agree with everything Peg541 said. We use Zyrtec rather than Benadryl after epi, because Zyrtec works faster, but definitely epi first, then antihistamine. The reason is that then the antihitamine can start working, hopefully by the time epi wears off. If not, give second epi 15 or 20 minutes after first one.

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