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When to use your EpiPen®

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency which must be treated quickly.

If someone has symptoms of anaphylaxis you should:

  • Use an adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) if available
  • Call 999 immediately
  • Remove trigger if possible
  • Make sure the person lies down or stays still
  • Administer a second AAI if there is no improvement in symptoms in 5 minutes

Recognise the symptoms

Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually develop within a few minutes of being exposed to the allergen. Symptoms will vary from person to person so it is important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor and be clear on what to look out for. Anaphylaxis usually develops suddenly and gets worse very quickly.

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) symptoms include:

  • Feeling lightheaded or faint
  • Breathing difficulties, such as fast, shallow breathing
  • Wheezing
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Clammy skin
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Collapsing or losing consciousness

Mild to moderate allergic reaction symptoms include:

  • Red, raised, itchy rash
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and/or vomiting
  • Itchy, red, watering eyes
  • Tingling mouth

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