What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis (a-na-fi-LAX-is) is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen very quickly and become severe within minutes. Anaphylaxis can be life- threatening because it can affect such critical organs as the brain, heart and lungs.
An allergic reaction is the body’s way of responding to a foreign substance. The immune system, which normally protects the body from harmful agents, may overreact to a substance (an allergen), resulting in a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Make sure your Epi-Pen Auto-Injector is always close at hand in case you need it.

When is an Allergic Reaction an Emergency?

There are many different signs that you are having an allergic reaction severe enough that you need immediate medical attention. Such a reaction is usually characterized by one or more of the symptoms listed below:

  • Hives
  • Metallic taste or tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips or throat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rash or itchy skin
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness or sudden weakness
  • Itchy palms

epi-penHelpful tips for your Epi-Pen:

  • Store your EpiPen Auto-Injector in the plastic tube it comes in
  • Keep your EpiPen Auto-Injector away from heat or cold (do not store in the glove compartment or refrigerator)
  • Keep your EpiPen Auto-Injector out of direct sunlight
  • Check your EpiPen Auto-Injector regularly through its small plastic window to be sure the solution inside is clear. If it is brown or discolored, replace your EpiPen with a new one immediately

Ask about the Assistance Program offered for the EpiPen.