#064 EPINEPHRINE SIDE EFFECTS WHEN YOUR CHILD HAS FOOD ALLERGIES

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Last updated on May 5, 2021

Let's start with an experiment.  Go to the supermarket and buy a soft drink with a lot of caffeine in it.  Also buy sugar and an energy drink.  Now go back home.  Mix all of these together.  Make sure that you include loads and loads of sugar.  Swirl the soft drink, the energy drink, and the sugar.  Make sure that the mixture is thick because of how much sugar it has.  Now drink that.  It's all food; right? People  eat sugar and drink soft drinks and energy drinks every day. Nothing unusual about that.  Right? 

OK... Don't do it.  You'll feel sick if you do it.  Your heart will go really fast; you will feel chest palpitations.   In fact, you might get chest pain.  You might feel restless.  You might have nausea.   You might vomit.  This feeling can last for hours.  It might land you in the emergency room if you feel really sick.  Not fun!

If you by chance decide to do this - which I don't recommend - then you will know how it feels to take epinephrine.   This is the feeling that some people get when they take epinephrine!  Only differences? What I describe that you do won't save your life.  Epinephrine will save your life if you are in the middle of a severe allergic reaction. Plus the effects of epinephrine won't last for hours like taking this crazy drink concoction might.  The half life of epinephrine is minutes. The crazy concoction I had you create will last in your body for minutes and not hours.  You will likely feel much sicker for much longer with this sugar / caffeinated soft drink / energy drink concoction than you will be if you take epinephrine.   Why are some of us more comfortable making a drink concoction like this as opposed to taking a medication?   Epinephrine can save your or your child's life.  Let's discuss epinephrine. 

Let's say that you just went to your doctor's office because your child has repeated episodes of an allergy-type rash or difficulty breathing each time that they eat a specific food. You think that it's food allergies, and you ask the doctor, "What do I do?"  The doctor then prescribes epinephrine.  You are sent on your way.  You go to a drive-thru at the pharmacy and do not talk to the pharmacist.  What now?  You have this prescription for epinephrine, but what do you do with it?

This episode is about the ins-and-outs of this medication - epinephrine.  Remember that I focus on the parents of children with limited diets.  What is one cause of limited diets?  Food allergies!   I need to discuss this information with you because epinephrine or an EpiPen are often prescribed, and people can be scared of this medicine.  I wanted to discuss the medication epinephrine in order to help calm down a person's fear.

To learn more, check out the next blog post (#059). 

Three "legal" things:  First, either a male or a female could consider themselves to be a mother.  My job is to serve and not to judge.  Second, although I am a family physician, I am not your doctor or therapist.   Please see your and your child's doctor.  Third, the information presented here is for educational purposes only.  It does not constitute professional medical advice. 

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