E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

January, 2019

Brrrr… it’s cold outside. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are feeling as energized as we are for the New Year.

This issue provides some important information on the current shortage of Epi-PensTM. It suggests alternatives that are available immediately, so be sure to read Article 1 and share the details with family and friends. We also cover recent research regarding peanut patches and peanut pills, as well as allergies in adults and medical misinformation on the Web.

Our New Year’s resolution is to continue to bring you valuable information, and to work tirelessly to prevent deaths from anaphylaxis through our programs of awareness, alertness and action. Be sure and contact us if you are interested in a free seminar on how to administer epinephrine in an emergency.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019!

Where Have All the Epi-Pens™ Gone?

The current shortage of Mylan Epi-PensTM that has been going on for over a year is certainly very scary. This in-depth article describes the current status and provides valuable information on alternatives that are available NOW. For example, many allergists are prescribing the compact Kaléo’s Auvi-Q auto-injectors, which can be ordered via a direct delivery program and are also stocked at Walgreens pharmacies. So don’t rely on expired Epi-PensTM or just carry around one pen. And don’t go without!

Where have all the Epi-Pens gone?/Image credit: Allergy Advocacy Association

Epinephrine Auto-injector Device Shortage Update

Edited by Jon Terry
January 10th, 2019

This article is a summary of the current world-wide epinephrine auto-injector device shortage crisis. All the material utilized was obtained from news sources readily available on the World Wide Web.

Children with life-threatening allergies, and their parents, remain in a state of anxiety as an international shortage of life-saving medication continues. Epi-PensTM, the leading brand of epinephrine autoinjectors used to treat anaphylaxis, have been in short supply since November 2017. The product, which administers epinephrine intramuscularly, is simple enough to be used by parents, teachers, or friends at the first sign of anaphylaxis.

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New Treatments for Peanut Allergies Sound Promising

A medical journalist with a severe allergy to peanuts and nuts is the perfect writer to inform us about the current status of preventing allergic reactions using peanut patches and ingesting “peanut pills.” The author concludes that progress is being made especially for young children, but she won’t be parting with her epinephrine any time soon.

New Treatments for Peanut Allergies Sound Promising…

Unshelled and shelled peanuts

…But Questions Remain

By Shefali Luthra
January 6th, 2019

Whenever I see a report touting possible new peanut allergy treatments, I devour it. I can’t help it. It’s an occupational hazard for any health journalist whose reporting specialty and medical history intertwine.

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Do You Think You Have a Food Allergy?

Have you ever been in a restaurant with someone who intensely questions the waiter about how the food is prepared because they have a food allergy? According to a recent study, one in 10 adults do have a serious food allergy, but nearly twice as many really just have a food intolerance. Of course no one wants to experience unpleasant symptoms, but it’s important for researchers to define the extent of the food allergy epidemic in the U.S. The results also showed a surprising number of people experiencing adult-onset food allergies. But the most distressing news from the study revealed that only a quarter of those with a genuine allergy had a current epinephrine prescription.

Do You Think You Have a Food Allergy?

Shrimp with dip and limes on a plate
A shellfish allergy is the most common food allergy in the U.S. in adults. Photo Credit: Getty Royalty Free.

New Study Says There Is A 50% Chance You Don't

By Victoria Forster
January 4th, 2019

Researchers have found that over 10 percent of adults in the U.S. are estimated to have a food allergy, but almost twice as many people as this think they have a food allergy but probably don't.

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Dr. Google Is a Liar

Rather than wait in line at a busy doctor’s office and incur a hefty co-pay, many of us turn to the internet whenever we have a new symptom or start taking a new prescription. But beware the information you find there! Unlike the “fake news” politicians like to conveniently refer to, there really is a lot of incorrect medical information you will find on the World Wide Web—and doctors will testify this can be life-threatening. Whether it’s about a particular drug or vaccine, many people believe that if they read it online it must be true, and this can even lead to a “placebo” or “nocebo” effect. So before you make any medical decisions based on something you’ve read, be sure and run it by your doctor.

Dr. Google Is a Liar

Drawing of woman checking cell phone in doctor's office.
Illustration by Wenting Li

Fake news threatens our democracy. Fake medical news threatens our lives.

By Haider Warraich
December 16th, 2018

It started during yoga class. She felt a strange pull on her neck, a sensation completely foreign to her. Her friend suggested she rush to the emergency room. It turned out that she was having a heart attack.

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