(Reuters Health) - Most people with severe allergies have filled their prescriptions for epinephrine auto-injectors, but fewer than half carry the devices with them, a new study suggests.
About 40 percent of study participants reported having a severe allergic reaction when their auto-injector was unavailable.
Many patients at-risk of potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis do not routinely carry their prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors, despite having experienced severe reactions in the past, coauthors Christopher Warren and Dr. Ruchi Gupta told Reuters Health in a joint email.
Anaphylaxis can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something a person is allergic to, such as foods, medications, and insect venom. The immune system releases a flood of chemicals that cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and trouble breathing, among other effects.
Epinephrine is the medication of choice for first-aid treatment of anaphylaxis and is frequently prescribed to allergic patients, said Warren and Gupta.
However, previous studies suggest that many individuals at risk of anaphylaxis often do not have epinephrine auto-injectors on hand during an allergic episode. We wanted to understand how adults and children were managing anaphylaxis and if and when they were carrying and using epinephrine, they said.
Warren (at the University of ...