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ACAAI: Most Anaphylaxis Patients Lack Info on EpiPens

Few patients realize two epinephrine doses may be needed to stop anaphylaxis

THURSDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Anaphylaxis patients are often poorly educated about epinephrine auto-injectors or the number of doses potentially necessary to stop an episode, researchers reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Philadelphia.

Myron Zitt, M.D., of the Queens-Long Island Medical Group in North Babylon, N.Y., and colleagues interviewed 59 patients and caregivers about auto-injector choices and auto-injector education. The patients had a total of 22 anaphylactic episodes.

The researchers found that 25 patients used auto-injectors (42 percent), but most were inadequately informed about them. Thirty patients (51 percent) received no training with their first auto-injector prescription, 17 (29 percent) received some information from their doctor, pharmacist or nurse, six (10 percent) received a demonstrator unit or instructional video and 13 (22 percent) scheduled an office visit to refill their prescriptions.

Patients' understanding that two epinephrine doses might be needed to halt anaphylaxis was poor. None knew about Twinject, though they generally believed Twinject would be more convenient than an EpiPen.

"Increased education about available auto-injectors, auto-injector use and the potential need for two doses of epinephrine among patients and caregivers may lead to better treatment for anaphylactic episodes," the authors write.

For more information, go to the Web site of the ACAAI's annual meeting (More Information).

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