Tag Archives: allergic reactions

Important EpiPen® recall information

The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) recently issued a voluntary recall for certain lot numbers of the injectable EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr. This is due to a possible problem with the injector itself.

EpiPen® contains epinephrine, a drug used to treat severe allergic reactions. In a couple of cases outside the United States, the injector failed “due to a potential defect in a supplier component,” according to the FDA.

The affected lots were distributed between December 17, 2015 and July 1, 2016. Not all lots are affected, and you don’t need to replace any EpiPens that aren’t on this list.

If you do have an EpiPen® on this list, don’t get rid of it until you have obtained a replacement. Any time you use an EpiPen®, you should seek emergency medical help right away, especially if it did not activate.

Mylan, the company that distributes EpiPen®, has this information on its website (from the manufacturer Meridian):

If you think you may be impacted by this recall, please follow these steps:

STEP 1: Check the lot number on your carton or device to see if your EpiPen® Auto-Injector is affected by the recall.

STEP 2: If your EpiPen® Auto-Injector has been recalled, contact Stericycle at 877-650-3494 to obtain a voucher code for your free replacement product. Stericycle also will provide you with a pre-paid return package to ship the product back to Stericycle.

STEP 3: Visit your pharmacy with your voucher information to redeem your free replacement.

STEP 4: Send your recalled product to Stericycle. Do not return any devices affected by the recall until you have your replacement in hand.

Contact your pharmacist if you have questions, or if you’re unsure if your current EpiPen® is on the recall list.

The truth about poison ivy

There’s that little bumpy rash, trying to keep from scratching, pink lotions…  Just reading the description makes you start to itch.

More time out of doors in the summer leads to more exposure to lots of things, including poison ivy.  But there are lots of myths about how it’s spread and how to treat it.

True:  The rash results from exposure to a poison ivy plant.  All poison ivy is three-leaved, but it doesn’t all look the same.  Sometimes the leaves have a reddish tint; sometimes the plant is all green.  It can grow low to the ground or vining up a tree.  Leaves can be quite small or 8 to 10 inches across.  The rule often quoted is:  “Leaves of three, let it be.”  Good advice.

True:  It’s the oil of the plant that causes the rash.  So, it’s possible to get a rash even if you were wearing long pants through a poison ivy patch, by touching the clothing later.  Some people have contracted poison ivy when burning brush, as they inhaled the smoke.

False:  You can get a poison ivy rash by touching someone else’s rash, especially if it is oozing fluid.  This is only true if there is still oil from the plant remaining on the rash—an unlikely scenario.  You can, however, get the oil from the fur of a pet that has been out of doors.  And if you have the oil on your hands, any skin that you touch can develop a rash.

False:  Some people are immune to poison ivy.  While it’s true that everyone’s susceptibility level is different, exposure to enough of the plant oil can cause anyone to break out in a rash.

According to an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), if you believe your child has been exposed to poison ivy, wash the affected area as soon as possible with soap and water for several minutes, and wash the clothing immediately.  Use calamine lotion 3 or 4 times per day to reduce itching, and/or 1% hydrocortisone cream to decrease swelling.  Call your pediatrician if the rash covers a very large area or doesn’t respond to treatments, if there’s a severe rash on the face, a fever or any other indication of infection, or a new outbreak.

The best treatment of all is to avoid contact with the plant in the first place, so teach your child what it looks like.

Shelby, age 5

Shelby, age 5

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