What Is An EpiPen and Who Needs It?

What is an EpiPen?

An EpiPen is a brand version of a broad category of auto-injector allergy pens that act the body’s immune system to shut down an allergic reaction before it worsens. Keep reading to learn more about this life-saving treatment, and contact our specialists at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia.

When is an EpiPen Used?

Used most commonly for severe allergic reactions, an EpiPen is an allergy pen prescribed by an allergist that can potentially save the life of a patient who experiences anaphylaxis — which is a condition that can be identified by:

  • Skin rash
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Swollen tongue or throat
  • Low blood pressure
  • In extreme cases, difficulty breathing, and shock

Epinephrine actively works to improve a patient’s breathing, stimulate their heart, raise dropping blood pressure, and reduce swelling on the face, lips, and throat. If anaphylaxis is not immediately treated after the allergic reaction begins, it can result in unconsciousness or death — making an EpiPen a life-saving device in some cases.

An EpiPen is most commonly used for severe allergic reactions to:

  • Insect bites
  • Food (especially nuts, dairy, shellfish, and other products)
  • Drugs and medications

How to Use an EpiPen

An EpiPen injects a shot of epinephrine into a patient’s bloodstream upon usage to prevent anaphylaxis. It is meant to be kept readily on-hand in the event of an emergency. If an EpiPen is prescribed for your child, it can be left with their school’s nurse in the event of an emergency at school. However, one should be kept at home as well.

To inject the EpiPen, be sure to insert the pen into your middle or outer thigh (through clothing if necessary.) Avoid injecting the device into any other areas of your body. It’s important to know that this drug is fast-acting but not permanent, and you should always follow the use of an EpiPen with emergency medical care as quickly as possible.

Allergy Treatment in Metro Atlanta

To learn if your allergy symptoms are severe enough to warrant an EpiPen for emergency cases, reach out to our board-certified allergy specialists at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. We can accurately diagnose and treat your allergy symptoms through same-day and next-day appointments.

To book an appointment, contact our team at (770) 459-0620.

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