Anaphylaxis

5 tips for managing anaphylaxis 

Act quickly and correctly when you or someone else experiences a severe allergic reaction.

Anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction can be extremely distressing, both for the person experiencing the symptoms and for those wanting to help.

While it’s important to stay calm, it’s also vital to treat anaphylaxis as quickly as possible.1

Here are five tips that may help you act correctly:

1) Identify signs and symptoms1

These are symptoms of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). You may need to use EpiPen® if one or more are present:

  • Difficult or noisy breathing
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Swelling or tightness of throat
  • Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
  • Wheeze or persistent cough
  • Dizziness or collapse
  • Young children may become pale or floppy

2) Lie flat

A person with suspected anaphylaxis should lie flat on their back. Pregnant women should be encouraged to lie on their left side. If the person is vomiting, they should lie on their side in the recovery position. If breathing is difficult, the next best thing is to sit on the floor (not on a chair).2

3) Never stand or walk

A person with anaphylaxis should NOT stand, walk, or be held upright, even if they appear to have recovered.2

4) Give EpiPen®3,4

Follow the steps in your ASCIA action plan. If in doubt, give EpiPen®. If you have both severe allergies and asthma, always use EpiPen® before a reliever puffer if you suspect anaphylaxis.

Steps to follow:

  • Pull off the blue EpiPen® safety release
  • Push the orange end of the EpiPen® Auto-Injector firmly into the outer mid-thigh until you hear or feel a click
  • Hold down for 3 seconds
  • Phone triple zero (000) for an ambulance
  • Phone family/emergency contact
  • You may need to use EpiPen® again before the ambulance arrives if there is no response after 5 minutes

5) Remember this mantra

Blue to the sky.  Orange to the Thigh.

Click here to watch the videos on how to use EpiPen® and EpiPen® trainer >

 

Prepared September 2021. EPI-2021-0202.

Login to MyEpiPen®

Join more than 35,000 EpiPen® Auto-Injector users and reap the benefits1

MyEpiPen® is an online resource dedicated to helping you and your family be better prepared to manage anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). If you're not yet a member of MyEpiPen®, make sure you join today to receive:

  • An EpiPen®  Trainer – a training device to help you practise using EpiPen® Auto-Injector
  • How to use EpiPen® Auto-Injector fridge magnet - to serve as a useful reminder
  • Expiry reminders - to help ensure you always have an in-date EpiPen® Auto-Injector at hand
  • Regular updates on the latest anaphylaxis news

Register here

Welcome to MyEpiPen®

Patients and Carers

Our new website is designed to support Australians who have been diagnosed with
severe allergies and are at risk of anaphylaxis.

 

Schools and Pharmacists

We’re busy working on your new programs, and look forward to welcoming you to the
new site soon. In the meantime, please click below to access the EpiClub® site as usual.

July 2021. EPI-2021-0194.

When collecting your EpiPen® or EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injector prescription, your pharmacist may try to switch it, or talk to you about switching to Anapen®.1

EpiPen® Auto-Injectors and Anapen® are not the same:2-4

EpiPen® takes just 2 steps to use.2,3

Anapen® takes 6 steps.4

EpiPen® delivers adrenaline in approx. 3 seconds.2,3

Anapen® requires 10 seconds.4

EpiPen® has a Never-See-Needle.™2,3

Anapen®’s needle is exposed after use.4

  • Switching means retraining: You, your family, friends and caregivers must retrain to use a different device correctly if you have an anaphylactic attack2-4
  • Switching means a different ASCIA Action Plan: You will also need to get a new ASCIA Action Plan, specific to Anapen®5

Remember, you don’t have to change. It’s your choice6
Be specific and tell your GP and pharmacist that you want your EpiPen® Auto-Injector prescription.

References:

  1. NPS Medicinewise. Brand equivalence — ‘a’ flagging explained. Available at: https://www.nps.org.au/radar/articles/brand-equivalence-a-flagging-explained. Accessed December 2021.
  2. EpiPen® Adrenaline (epinephrine) 300 μg/0.3 mL Auto-Injector. Consumer Medicine information. July 2021.
  3. EpiPen® Jr. Adrenaline (epinephrine) 150 μg/0.3 mL Auto-Injector. Consumer Medicine information. July 2021.
  4. Anapen® Consumer Medicine information. March 2021.
  5. ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis (RED). https://www.allergy.org.au/hp/ascia-plans-action-and-treatment. Accessed December 2021.
  6. Medical Director. Active Ingredient Prescribing is coming: here’s what you need to know. https://www.medicaldirector.com/news/clinical-practice/2020/08/active-ingredient-prescribing-is-coming-heres-what-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 2021.

February 2022. EPI-2021-0567.