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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Jul;122(1):133-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.04.031. Epub 2008 Jun 10.

Use of multiple doses of epinephrine in food-induced anaphylaxis in children.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and Jaffe Institute for Food Allergy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA. kirsi.jarvinen@mssm.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to determine the rate, circumstances, and risk factors for repeated doses of epinephrine in the treatment of food-induced anaphylaxis in children.

METHODS:

Anonymous questionnaires were distributed to families of children with food allergies during allergy outpatient visits to a food allergy referral center. Demographic information, allergy and reaction history, and details regarding the last 2 anaphylactic reactions requiring epinephrine were collected.

RESULTS:

A total of 413 questionnaires were analyzed. Seventy-eight children (median, 4.5 years of age; range, 0.5-17.5 years) reported 95 reactions for which epinephrine was administered. Two doses were administered in 12 (13%) and 3 doses in an additional 6 (6%) reactions treated with epinephrine. Peanut, tree nuts, and cow's milk were responsible for >75% of reactions requiring epinephrine. Patients receiving multiple doses of epinephrine more often had asthma (P = .027) than children receiving a single dose. The amount of food ingested or a delay in the initial administration of epinephrine were not risk factors for receiving multiple doses. The second dose of epinephrine was administered by a health care professional in 94% of reactions.

CONCLUSION:

In this referral population of children and adolescents with multiple food allergies, 19% of food-induced anaphylactic reactions were treated with more than 1 dose of epinephrine. Prospective studies are necessary to identify risk factors for severe anaphylaxis and to establish rational guidelines for prescribing multiple epinephrine autoinjectors for children with food allergy.

PMID:
18547626
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2008.04.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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