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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is an epi-pen and how can it treat a food allergy?

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    Joy Anderson

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Joy is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist, as well as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has a special interest in … View Profile

    An epi-pen contains adrenaline. It is used when an allergic person is having or is suspected of having an anaphylactic reaction after accidental exposure to the food that the person is allergic to. Anaphylaxis has the potential to be fatal due to stopping the person being able to breathe (via swelling of the windpipe) and also from a whole-body fall in blood pressure. Adrenaline reverses these effects to get the person over the critical minutes of this severe reaction. Any person given adrenaline for an allergic reaction or suspected of have anaphylaxis needs to see a doctor straight away even it they look like they have recovered.

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