Epi Pen

By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Katherine Astle

The drug epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is most commonly used after a someone experiences a sudden severe allergic reaction.

Thanks to a new Alabama state law, businesses, schools and children’s camps are now allowed to store their own EpiPens. Dr. Blake Lovely said the change helps a lot of people suffering from severe allergies.

“Before, you had to have a prescription before anyone could have an EpiPen at all,” he said. “And now they can get them in all those local places where lots of people could be.”

Dr. Lovely said it’s still imperative to be cautious regarding who you administer the drug to.

“You don’t want to give it to somebody who has heart problems,” he said. “Because it’s gonna make their heart go really fast and you could cause a heart attack and that kind of thing.”

Not every allergic reaction needs an EpiPen, but Lovely said there are signs that one is necessary.

“They have a rash all over, they’re wheezing and short of breath and they have some nausea, might start vomiting, that’s the time when you wanna give it,” he said.

If a business does decide to buy an EpiPen, at least one person there would be required to go through medical training and learn to administer the drug. The Alabama Department of Health is offering free online training to anyone who would like to learn how to administer epinephrine.

In case of an emergency, Dr. Lovely said it’s important to administer the drug the right way.

“Somewhere big,” he said. “The thigh is the recommended area, so it would probably be the easiest thing.”

Dr. Lovely said he believes the new law is beneficial, especially for children whose allergy status is untested.

“It’s something that could save people’s lives quickly and efficiently,” he said.

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