Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Always Carry Epinephrine

Of all the lessons in the food allergy world, I think the #1 lesson is ALWAYS CARRY EPINEPHRINE.  Always, always, always.  We can read labels all day long, but items are sometimes mislabeled. Cross-contamination warnings are voluntary and trace amounts can slip into foods.  Even when we are at our most vigilant, mistakes can be made.  New allergies can develop.  There are so many scenarios under which you might find yourself needing that life-saving medicine and it needs to be within arm's reach, at all times.  Having epinephrine with you does not mean that you will let your guard down, or stop being ever-vigilant and cautious.  It just means that if something happens and an allergen slips past the gates, and leads to an anaphylactic reaction, you will be prepared.

It might be a "pain" to carry it around, but consider the alternative.  Past reactions are no indication of the severity of future reactions.  If you have been diagnosed with a food allergy, or are at risk for anaphylaxis due to a venom allergy, and have been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector, it was for a REASON.  If you believe you have fully outgrown your allergy/allergies, do not stop carrying your epinephrine without first consulting your allergist.

Don't gamble with your life.  
Keep that ACE up your sleeve. 
(Or in your bag, strapped to your belt, your leg...ANYWHERE!) 
Always Carry Epinephrine!

The Brookline Families with Food Allergies site has an excellent listing with sites that carry EpiPen carriers.

This is a great video from One Spot Allergy about their "The Best EpiPen Belt".

Also, have a look at my Important Information post, for more information.  The most important point on there is that Benadryl (or any other anti-histamine) has no life-saving capabilities!


  1. Such an important reminder! Hubby and I just had a conversation about this the other day (and about 10 times more yesterday when the story about the teen who died was posted). We left to go to go pick up boxes from a friend's house 30 minutes from home, and about 10 minutes out I realized I had left E's backpack that has his epipens and meds at home. I made Kevin turn around so we could get it, but he was arguing the whole way, saying we're not even planning on getting E out of the carseat, there's nothing he's allergic to in the car, etc. But I agree with this post - there are no exceptions! You just never know. The inconvenience of getting them even when you don't need them is nothing to the horror of the opposite situation. I like the motto "keep calm and carry epipens". ;)

  2. You are so right! Have you seen the "10 Things Children with Food Allergies Want You to Know"
    By Gina Clowes? (
    9. I’m watching you—Mom and Dad! You may think that I’m too little to notice, but I see that you went back home to get my Epi-Pen® when you forgot it. I see that you read the ingredients on the Smarties every time. You are my role models and I am learning how to manage my food allergies from you!

  3. I agree! Whenever my husband forgets, which rarely happens, he always comes home to get it. It's never a good time to start a bad habit! : )