As children return to school, they should be prepared for the classroom. That includes having emergency treatments on hand if they have known allergic reactions to bee stings, food allergies and other allergens. These allergic reactions, called anaphylaxis, can be fatal, but can be managed with emergency treatments called epinephrine, along with emergency medical care.
Some parents may have a hard time obtaining these treatments because of the surge of demand at the beginning of school year.
It is important to know there are several options out there. This is how parents can make sure their kids have emergency epinephrine treatments tucked safely into their backpack:
- When a health care provider writes a prescription for EpiPen, the pharmacist may not be able to substitute EpiPen for a generic or similar product. But if the health care provider writes a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector to treat anaphylaxis, the pharmacist can give the consumer EpiPen or products such as:
- There is also Symjepi, a pre-filled epinephrine syringe. Parents should talk to their children’s health care providers about that treatment option as well for allergic reactions.
Adverse reactions to epinephrine include anxiety, apprehensiveness, restlessness, tremor, weakness, dizziness, sweating, palpitations (heart racing sensation), pallor (paleness), nausea and vomiting, headache, and respiratory (breathing) difficulties. Rare cases of serious skin and soft tissue infections have been reported after epinephrine injection.
More information can be found on the Drug Shortages page about the current availability of these treatments, and ways to contact the companies directly.