Stories about: anaphylaxis

A new option for kids with severe allergies

(image credit: CVS)

For parents of children with severe allergies, keeping our kids safe in the event of an allergic reaction is a priority. We rid our houses of allergens, we write detailed allergy plans for caretakers and we stock up on Epinephrine, the medication that will save our kids if they ever experience anaphylaxis.

Epinephrine auto-injectors are expensive, they expire every year even if unused, and we have to purchase multiples for home, school, and elsewhere. Which is why we’re thrilled that CVS now offers a generic Epinephrine auto-injector for $109.99 per two-pack — that’s about a sixth of the cost of Epi-pen and a third of the cost of Mylan’s generic version.

Before heading out to CVS to stock up, we checked in with Dr. John Lee, clinical director of the Food Allergy Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. “This new Epinephrine auto-injector from CVS can be used safely for anaphylaxis,” assures Dr. Lee. “It provides the same medication and the same dosing as the Epi-pen,” though he warns the mechanisms differ. He urges anyone caring for a child with a life-threatening allergy to be trained on how to use each brand.

Above all, Dr. Lee insists caretakers carry an Epinephrine auto-injector at all times — “no matter which one it is,” he emphasizes.

Learn about Boston Children’s Hospital’s Food Allergy Program.

Read Full Story

Food Challenged: The 'egg-speriment' begins

The following is the second post in series on food allergies and their treatment at Children’s Hospital Boston. Written by Joshua Feblowitz, a research assistant at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a freelance writer for Children’s, the series chronicles Joshua’s severe food allergy history and his life-long  treatment at Children’s. In this entry, Joshua recounts a recent test conducted at Children’s to determine whether or not his body has naturally outgrown his severe egg allergy.

Test day: Joshua and his allergist, Lynda Schneider, MD

7:00 AM: It’s the day of my food challenge and I wake up (naturally) from a dream about breakfast. I get ready and then hop on the green line headed towards Longwood Medical Area.

7:45 AM: I arrive at Children’s Hospital and head up to the Center for Ambulatory Treatment and Clinical Research (CAT/CR) on the 4th floor of the Farley building. I’m a little bit nervous (and also hungry, no breakfast before a food challenge!).

I haven’t taken my regular allergy medications for over a week and I’m feeling itchy and sneezy already. For many years, I’ve taken three different medications each and every day for my asthma and allergies. However, some of them could mask the initial symptoms of a severe reaction so it’s better to perform the test off medications.

As instructed, I have my EpiPen with me. There will also be Benadryl and other medications on hand just to be safe. Because of my negative blood tests and skin test, I know that everything should be OK, but I’m still feeling apprehensive.

Read Full Story