MYTH: “EpiPens are dangerous. That’s why you have to go to the hospital after using one.”
FACT: Anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition and Epinephrine is a medication used to treat this condition. Epinephrine is a short acting medication that can counteract some of the issues that arise including airway closure and decreased blood flow to the heart and brain.
So when someone is having a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, Epinephrine is used to help start treatment at home prior to going to the hospital.
Unfortunately, sometimes we need more help than this one medication and this is why you have to go to the hospital. It is not the epinephrine that is dangerous but rather the reaction is what is dangerous. The risk to life from having a severe allergic reaction is what necessitates going to a hospital.
Note: Each month on our blog, we are featuring a common myth about food allergies, followed by the facts. Information for this month’s Fact was provided by Dr. Zainab Abdurrahman, MD, MMath, FRCPC, an allergist at Kindercare Pediatrics Clinic in Toronto and at McMaster Childrens’ Hospital in Hamilton.