Tag Archives: allergies

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.

New information about preventing peanut allergies

An extensive study of children and peanut allergies has recently been released, and it encourages pediatricians to re-assess the recommendations that have been in place for some time. The study, called LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy), looked at children who have a severe or mild risk of developing peanut allergy and those who don’t.

Peanut allergies have been on the rise in recent years. Conventional wisdom has been that infants and toddlers should not be given peanuts or peanut products until they were older. That wisdom is now changing as a result of the LEAP study, conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The director of NIAID said in a recent press release: “We expect that widespread implementation of these guidelines by health care providers will prevent the development of peanut allergy in many susceptible children and ultimately reduce the prevalence of peanut allergy in the United States.”

So, what are the new guidelines, and what should parents do about introducing peanuts to the diets of their young children?

For babies who are considered to be at NO risk for developing a peanut allergy, parents can begin introducing peanut butter with solid foods at about six months of age. The LEAP study concludes that once peanut butter is introduced and tolerated with no allergic reaction, it should remain in the baby’s diet with some regularity.

There are different guidelines for babies and young children who are determined to be at moderate or severe risk of developing peanut allergy. How do you know whether or not your child is at risk? There are several factors that contribute to that risk, and it’s a conversation you should have with your child’s pediatrician in the office before introducing peanut butter into the diet.

Your concerns are our concerns, and we look forward to answering any questions you may have at your child’s next checkup.

Fact or fiction: a few winter health myths

Do you remember all those things your grandmother taught you about staying healthy in the winter?  Many of them hold true (chicken soup really is good for you!), but there are some commonly held beliefs about cold weather and health that just don’t hold up to scientific scrutiny.  Here are three.

1. “Stay inside, because cold air will make you sick.”  Viruses and bacteria cause illness, not air temperature.  Chilly weather shouldn’t keep children from getting the exercise they need.  Just be sure to dress them warmly and use common sense.  Don’t forget that cold and wet together (think playing in the snow) can cause frostbite fairly quickly.

2. “Never go out without a hat—you’ll lose all your body heat through your head.”  Well, not exactly.  Yes, staying covered keeps you warm.  And yes, staying covered includes wearing a hat.  But if your child got on the bus without her hat, she’ll be okay unless it’s super cold.  You lose heat through any exposed skin, but no more through the head than through any other part of the body.  Just keep your children warmly dressed.  A hat or hood is often a good way to feel (and be) warm.

3. “Allergies go away in the winter.”  Maybe.  If your child has pollen allergies, those will likely improve.  But if he has allergies to dust mites or pet dander, those may worsen because of increased time spent indoors.  Many people with allergies have a sensitivity to live Christmas trees, not only because of the greenery, but because of outdoor allergens that cling to the needles.

Stay warm and healthy this winter!

Artwork by Damion

Artwork by Damion


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