‘Tis The Season for Caution & Reason: Helpful Hints for Serious Food Allergies at the Winter Holidays

Dec 11, 2017 | News

Below are a few winter-time tips and suggestions for people with serious food allergies. If you have any questions, you should always consult with your healthcare provider.

Peace on earth, unity and joy, lovely lights, a winter wonderland… and food-related anxiety? Uh-oh. Serious food allergies can definitely be a challenge during the winter holidays.

It’s important to be prepared: ALWAYS carry your epinephrine auto-injector with you. Even with careful planning, you can’t always predict or prevent allergic emergencies (Type I, including anaphylaxis), so it’s best to have the devices you need to respond. If you experience signs of this type of potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, use your epinephrine auto-injector right away, and then call 911.

But aside from being prepared with your epinephrine auto-injectors, how can you manage serious food allergies and help prevent reactions over the winter holidays?

Whatever holiday traditions you participate in, they most likely contain food allergens.

Some holiday dinners or treats can include fish, seafood, wheat, gluten, eggs, milk, soy, nuts, and/or other potential allergens.

What are Serious Food Allergies?

Serious food allergies means having severe allergic reactions to certain foods, which may include nuts, milk, eggs, soy, and/or other foods. A potentially life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. At the first sign of anaphylaxis epinephrine is the recommended first step at treating it, followed by immediate medical attention. Being prepared for anaphylaxis means having access to an epinephrine auto-injector.

Here are some tips to handle serious food allergies during the winter holidays:

It’s important to communicate with your family, friends, hosts, and other guests at a holiday gathering – to make sure they know about your allergies and understand how serious it is. For example, some people may confuse food allergies with food intolerances, like lactose intolerance – which is also real and causes many problems, but doesn’t involve the immune system. [Anaphylaxis campaign] So your social circle’s awareness is important!

If you have serious allergies, you might want to bring your own food, if you are worried about the food at your destination. Consider preparing alternative recipes for your holiday’s traditional foods, so you can celebrate with your group. And it’s a good idea to always check food labels or ask about ingredients, whenever possible.

Rich and tempting foods may be present. As someone with serious food allergies, you need to be aware of the contents of these foods.

Occupational Hazard? Navigating the Workplace With Serious Food Allergies

The workplace can be another challenging hurdle. Offices and professional settings can be flooded with food this time of year. Allergic surprises may literally lurk around every corner! For your own well-being, think about communicating your food issues to your colleagues as much as you feel comfortable, to build their awareness. This can help you avoid the peer pressure to eat, and maybe even inspire your coworkers to clear the area of food. Keep the lines of communication open, but also keep your guard up. 

The bottom line for people with serious food allergies requiring epinephrine auto-injection: During the winter holidays, be even more careful about food than usual, because so much unlabeled food is available and around… Alert your friends, family, and coworkers to your serious allergies so they can be helpful… Check labels and ask about ingredients whenever possible… Prepare alternative recipes if you wish… Bring your own food if you are concerned about food at parties… Avoid food-related peer pressure… And always be prepared by carrying your epinephrine auto-injector! Getting through the holidays with severe food allergies can be a real challenge, but there are also many measures you can take, and everyone’s experience is unique. Find out ways that work for you. And happy holidays!

Sources:

Epinephrine for First-aid Management of Anaphylaxis,” Sicherer et al, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Food Intolerance,” Anaphylaxis Campaign

Food Allergy,” American College of Asthma, Allergy, & Immunology (ACAAI)

Links to external websites are provided for your convenience, and should not be viewed as an endorsement of Impax Laboratories or its products.  Impax has no control over the content on these websites.

PP-PAT-EAI-US-0007 12/2017

‘Tis The Season for Caution & Reason: Helpful Hints for Serious Food Allergies at the Winter Holidays

Dec 11, 2017 | News

What are Serious Food Allergies?

Serious food allergies means having severe allergic reactions to certain foods, which may include nuts, milk, eggs, soy, and/or other foods. A potentially life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. At the first sign of anaphylaxis epinephrine is the recommended first step at treating it, followed by immediate medical attention. Being prepared for anaphylaxis means having access to an epinephrine auto-injector.

Below are a few winter-time tips and suggestions for people with serious food allergies. If you have any questions, you should always consult with your healthcare provider.

Peace on earth, unity and joy, lovely lights, a winter wonderland… and food-related anxiety? Uh-oh. Serious food allergies can definitely be a challenge during the winter holidays.

It’s important to be prepared: ALWAYS carry your epinephrine auto-injector with you. Even with careful planning, you can’t always predict or prevent allergic emergencies (Type I, including anaphylaxis), so it’s best to have the devices you need to respond. If you experience signs of this type of potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, use your epinephrine auto-injector right away, and then call 911.

But aside from being prepared with your epinephrine auto-injectors, how can you manage serious food allergies and help prevent reactions over the winter holidays?

Whatever holiday traditions you participate in, they most likely contain food allergens.

Some holiday dinners or treats can include fish, seafood, wheat, gluten, eggs, milk, soy, nuts, and/or other potential allergens.

Here are some tips to handle serious food allergies during the winter holidays:

It’s important to communicate with your family, friends, hosts, and other guests at a holiday gathering – to make sure they know about your allergies and understand how serious it is. For example, some people may confuse food allergies with food intolerances, like lactose intolerance – which is also real and causes many problems, but doesn’t involve the immune system. [Anaphylaxis campaign] So your social circle’s awareness is important!

If you have serious allergies, you might want to bring your own food, if you are worried about the food at your destination. Consider preparing alternative recipes for your holiday’s traditional foods, so you can celebrate with your group. And it’s a good idea to always check food labels or ask about ingredients, whenever possible.

Rich and tempting foods may be present. As someone with serious food allergies, you need to be aware of the contents of these foods.

Occupational Hazard? Navigating the Workplace With Serious Food Allergies

The workplace can be another challenging hurdle. Offices and professional settings can be flooded with food this time of year. Allergic surprises may literally lurk around every corner! For your own well-being, think about communicating your food issues to your colleagues as much as you feel comfortable, to build their awareness. This can help you avoid the peer pressure to eat, and maybe even inspire your coworkers to clear the area of food. Keep the lines of communication open, but also keep your guard up. 

The bottom line for people with serious food allergies requiring epinephrine auto-injection: During the winter holidays, be even more careful about food than usual, because so much unlabeled food is available and around… Alert your friends, family, and coworkers to your serious allergies so they can be helpful… Check labels and ask about ingredients whenever possible… Prepare alternative recipes if you wish… Bring your own food if you are concerned about food at parties… Avoid food-related peer pressure… And always be prepared by carrying your epinephrine auto-injector! Getting through the holidays with severe food allergies can be a real challenge, but there are also many measures you can take, and everyone’s experience is unique. Find out ways that work for you. And happy holidays!

Sources:

Epinephrine for First-aid Management of Anaphylaxis,” Sicherer et al, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Food Intolerance,” Anaphylaxis Campaign

Food Allergy,” American College of Asthma, Allergy, & Immunology (ACAAI)

Links to external websites are provided for your convenience, and should not be viewed as an endorsement of Impax Laboratories or its products.  Impax has no control over the content on these websites.

PP-PAT-EAI-US-0007 12/2017

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector?

    1. Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector contains epinephrine, a medicine used to treat allergic emergencies (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, can happen within minutes, and can be caused by stinging and biting insects, allergy injections, foods, medicines, exercise or other unknown causes. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
      • trouble breathing
      • wheezing
      • hoarseness (changes in the way your voice sounds)
      • hives (raised reddened rash that may itch)
      • severe itching
      • swelling of your face, lips, mouth, or tongue
      • skin rash, redness, or swelling
      • fast heartbeat
      • weak pulse
      • feeling very anxious
      • confusion
      • stomach pain
      • losing control of urine or bowel movements (incontinence)
      • diarrhea or stomach cramps
      • dizziness, fainting, or “passing out” (unconsciousness).
    2. Always carry your epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector with you because you may not know when anaphylaxis may happen. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need additional units to keep at work, school, or other locations. Tell your family members, caregivers, and others where you keep your epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector and how to use it before you need it. You may be unable to speak in an allergic emergency.
    3. When you have an allergic emergency (anaphylaxis)
      • Use epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector right away.
      • Get emergency medical help right away. You may need further medical attention. You may need to use a second epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector if symptoms continue or recur. Only a healthcare provider should give additional doses of epinephrine if you need more than 2 injections for a single anaphylaxis episode.

    What is epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector?

    • Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector is a disposable, prefilled automatic injection device (auto-injector) used to treat life-threatening, allergic emergencies including anaphylaxis in people who are at risk for or have a history of serious allergic emergencies. Each device contains a single dose of epinephrine.
    • Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector is for immediate self (or caregiver) administration and does not take the place of emergency medical care. You should get emergency medical help right away after using epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector.
    • Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector is for people who have been prescribed this medicine by their healthcare provider.

    What should I tell my healthcare provider before using epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector? Before you use epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, especially if you:

    • have heart problems or high blood pressure
    • have diabetes
    • have thyroid problems
    • have asthma
    • have a history of depression
    • have Parkinson’s disease
    • have any other medical condition
    • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
    • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

    Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Tell your healthcare provider of all known allergies. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take certain asthma medicines.

    How should I use epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector?

    • Each epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector contains only 1 dose of medicine.
    • Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector should only be injected into the middle of the outer thigh (upper leg). It can be injected through clothing, if needed.
    • Read the Instructions for Use in the Patient Information Leaflet for information about the right way to use epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector.
    • Your healthcare provider will show you how to safely use the epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector.
    • Use epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.

    What are the possible side effects of epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector? Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector may cause serious side effects.

    • Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector should only be injected into the middle of your outer thigh (upper leg). Do not inject epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector into your veins, buttocks, fingers, toes hands or feet.

    If you accidently inject epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector into any other part of your body, go to the nearest emergency room right away. Tell the healthcare provider where on your body you received the accidental injection.

    • Rarely patients who use epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector may develop infections at the injection site within a few days of an injection. Some of these infections can be serious. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following at an injection site:
      • redness that does not go away
      • swelling
      • tenderness
      • the area feels warm to the touch
    • If you inject a young child with epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector, hold their leg firmly in place before and during the injection to prevent injuries.
    • If you have certain medical conditions, or take certain medicines, your condition may get worse or you may have more or longer lasting side effects when you use epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector. Talk to your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions.

    Common side effects of epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector include

    • faster, irregular or “pounding” heartbeat
    • sweating
    • headache
    • weakness
    • shakiness
    • paleness
    • feelings of over excitement, nervousness, or anxiety
    • dizziness
    • nausea or vomiting
    • breathing problems

    These side effects may go away with rest. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

    Keep epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector and all medicines out of the reach of children.

    What are the ingredients in epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector? Active Ingredient: epinephrine Inactive Ingredients: sodium chloride, chlorobutanol, sodium bisulfite, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, and water.

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS contact Impax Laboratories, Inc. at 1-877-994-6729. Please click here for full Prescribing Information including the Patient Information Leaflet.

    For more information and video instructions on the use of epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector, go to www.epinephrineautoinject.com or call 1-800-934-6729.

    Indication: The epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector is a disposable, prefilled automatic injection device (auto-injector) used to treat life-threatening, allergic emergencies including anaphylaxis in people who are at risk for or have a history of serious allergic emergencies.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector?

  1. Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector contains epinephrine, a medicine used to treat allergic emergencies (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, can happen within minutes, and can be caused by stinging and biting insects, allergy injections, foods, medicines, exercise or other unknown causes. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
    • trouble breathing
    • wheezing
    • hoarseness (changes in the way your voice sounds)
    • hives (raised reddened rash that may itch)
    • severe itching
    • swelling of your face, lips, mouth, or tongue
    • skin rash, redness, or swelling
    • fast heartbeat
    • weak pulse
    • feeling very anxious
    • confusion
    • stomach pain
    • losing control of urine or bowel movements (incontinence)
    • diarrhea or stomach cramps
    • dizziness, fainting, or “passing out” (unconsciousness).
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