An Epi-Pen contains a large dosage of epinephrine, or adrenaline, that counters the effects of the histamine reaction when injected. However, the Epi-Pen is not a solution; it just buys you time to get to the emergency room. The important thing to remember is that every minute counts, so make sure to act quickly and get the victim to a hospital immediately.
The effects of the allergic reaction last from several minutes to hours, depending on how much of the food you ate and the severity of your allergy. In 25 percent of patients, a second injection of epinephrine is required, so it is important that you call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Your doctor may also recommend antihistamines or steroid medications that you use for a short time. However, it is important that you use these medications for additive therapy and use the epinephrine as the first line of treatment. Antihistamine and steroids only treat the symptoms, while the epinephrine will treat the allergic reaction.
• Learn how to keep your home allergen-free.