Question for those who carry Benadryl and an epi pen
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/30/2013 by KristinL16 in NSBR Board
 

KristinL16
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:05:56 PM
My 15 month was recently diagnosed with allergies to pineapple and peanuts. We have an epi pen but I am having a hard time remembering to take it with me. I usually keep my purse and diaper bag in the car but it won't work to keep the epi pen in either of them since the temperature won't be stable.

I'm wondering where you keep your epi pen? Do you always have Benadryl with you as well and if so, do you keep a whole bottle or is there a better way to carry a small amount? I'm thinking about getting a thermal bag to out them in and hopefully i can get in the habit of taking it to and from the car. I'm wondering about summer--would the thermal bag be effective at keeping tr meds from getting too hot, even without a cool pack in it? Sorry for so many questions. Hopefully someone had ideas that I haven't thought of yet.

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Designing
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:14:13 PM
I am sorry, I am no help since I carry my purse everywhere no matter what. I live in my hometown and even still, it is not the town in which I grew up so I would never leave anything in my car. In fact a few months ago my car was left unlocked overnight by one of my daughters and while someone went into the car, they took NOTHING. LOL I did not want to read and run.

3Dpea
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:16:14 PM
I don't have any advice about the Epi-pen, but you can buy Benadryl (or the store brand) in those single dose packages. That may be easier to carry with you.
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revirdsuba
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:18:45 PM
Attach a hook to the case and then hook it to your keys.

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:20:51 PM
I keep mine in my purse.

The teenager has something that looks like in insulated lunch bag that he keeps his in.

KristinL16
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:21:21 PM
I should say that my purse (and keys) are in the car, which is in our garage.
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stace3
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:21:35 PM
The EMT told us to carry the liquid Benadryl capsules for my dh. He carries an EPI pen in his computer bag daily.

Beldin
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:23:53 PM
I always carried my son's in my purse along with a couple of these

Pre-Measured Benadryl Spoons

Your car will be too hot. Beach days or pool side in the summer you will need to keep in a thermal bag. I have put a cool pack in the very bottom and then other stuff and then wrapped the epi-pen in paper towels and put it at the top of the bag. They can't get too cold either. Pain for sure depending on how hot it gets where you live.

Sorry you have to deal with this, but it is doable and you soon it will become habit.


KristinL16
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:25:32 PM
I just had a 31 party and they have a small thermal bag that I was thinking about getting. But, maybe that won't work if I have to put a cool pack in it. It might get too cold that way?
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KristinL16
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:53:22 PM
I only leave my purse in the car at home but wouldn't do that of the epi pen was in it, since it would either be too hot or too cold in the car.

I think I will put it in a zippered bag (not thermal for now) and then try to get in the habit of taking it in or out. The problem is that it can't just stay in purse at all times since some days I am not home with DS. We have two epi pens. One is at daycare one at home. But, he is only at daycare one or two days a week so maybe it would be better to have one for my purse and then one at home? The purse one can also go to daycare? Im very forgetful. I am thinking while I type....
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momwithcamera
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:00:14 PM
I had a long post posted, but then you answered my questions with your follow ups.

My 7 yr old has to have an epi pen, benadryl and an inhaler with him at all times. He is allergic to cats and grass. I carry them in my purse in a hard sided make up carrier.
My son used to carry them in a carrier. Now for him, it's just not cool,so the teacher now has his carrier.

Do you have 2 epi pens? My insurace requiered that my Dr prescribe 2 at a time. I buy 4 a year. One for school, one that I have hanging by a hook in the kitchen, one at my mom's and one in my purse. If you don't have 2 request another.

My son has been taking allergy shots for 3 years now and his allergies are getting better. However, he's had 2 attacks that before we could even open the case, we knew we were in trouble.

I've never kept the case in the car, but I'm in Texas, I couldn't help you with that. It gets way to hot down here to do that, even in a cooler.

Jennifer


scrappychick13
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:06:47 PM
You just need to get in the habit of always carrying it with you. Stop leaving your purse in the car if that's what it takes. One should always be with the child and one should always be with you.

Paigewh
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:07:19 PM
I would second the Benedryl spoons. They're so much easier to carry and work quickly. The insulated bag might work, but after having a purse stolen from my car, I always bring mine in. I carry one epi for me and one for my daughter, so to ruin them would be a huge chunk of change. They're expensive! That might help you remember not to leave it in the car

momwithcamera
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:12:49 PM
For daycare, could you buy a fanny pack type thing that you can hook to your diaper bag? That way it comes home with you?

And I agree with Paige, they are expensive. I don't know if I would chance leaving the pen in the garage. To hot or to cold, they go bad fast.

Also, I sometimes have a hard time finding the benadryl spoons, the dr said that the Walgreen store brand is very good also.

Jennifer

tania7424
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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:12:42 PM
Can you use the Benadryl spoons for a 3 year old? The link says 6+. We don't have them up here, just liquid or chewables. I carry the bottle with a dosing spoon (measurements in the handle) in a ziploc in DS's pullup/wipes pouch. When I carried an EpiPen for myself it was always in my purse. My purse was generally kept fairly climate controlled and they didn't ever go bad before expiry. DS hasn't been prescribed one yet (waiting to see one of two allergists in the area) but is allergic to pineapple as well as several condiments.

CMRA
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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:17:07 PM
My dr wrote the script for 4, I keep one in my desk, one in my purse, one in my gym bag and another in a carry bag. I keep Benadryl tabs and was also given a script for steroids and a plan for what to take when after using the pen.
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moveablefeast
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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:25:47 PM
I just had to get used to carrying it. My meds are in a small bag, like a pencil case size, on a carabiner clip that attaches to my keys.

I don't carry benadryl tablets now - I always carry liquid. My doctor said that when you are having a reaction, you may not be able to swallow a pill, whether because of anxiety or because of the physical reaction.

IMO you should have one set of meds that stays at daycare (so that yu never forget to give it to them - i would not allow a child at my school to bring it back and forth, way too many potential points of failure) and one that goes with you everywhere else. You just get used to it. I got complacent and stopped carrying meds with me 100% of the time and one day I got stung by a bee at the park. Lesson learned.

KristinL16
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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:26:24 PM
I didn't see dosing spoons whe I bought my Benadryl but will look. DS is only 15 months so I will lay attention to the age and dose on the bottle.
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gale w
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Posted: 1/31/2013 12:26:43 AM
I always kept my daughter's in my purse and kept it with me. I am always mindful of the temperature around the epis. Sometimes we flub up and have to replace them before they're expired because they got too cold (rarely) or too hot (more common). Now my dd is 17 so she carries her own but I have to watch and make sure she doesn't forget her purse in the car on hot or cold days.

We stopped carrying benadryl. My daughter's allergist doesn't recommend it for her. When we did carry it, there were no fast melts or spoons. We just kept a bottle of it and a small measuring spoon in the same carrier as the epis.

jaredem
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Posted: 1/31/2013 5:39:10 AM
Allergy Apparel

I use a carrying case from this site. They also have awesome stickers, bracelets and pins for children.

elphalba
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Posted: 1/31/2013 5:42:51 AM
I kept it in my purse but it was a conscious effort to always bring it inside. I don't think there is any place you can put it besides on your person.
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*theCakeGirl*
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Posted: 1/31/2013 5:52:14 AM
I have two sets of everything with the exception of the inhaler. I keep one next to my bed. One set is in the kitchen and one I carry in a little pouch with a wrist strap. It has my epi pen, inhaler and benedryl tabs. My purse goes everywhere with me and I do not ever leave it in the car anymore. It comes inside and goes in the pantry.

When I go hiking the little pouch goes in my camera/gear bag. If I'm going for a walk I use the strap. I've been caught without my bag before while out garage sale-ing with friends. Somebody had something in their stuff I reacted to and turned blue before my poor friend returned with the bag left in my car a couple blocks away! It's frightening and I don't leave home without it!

If you have it in a little wristlet pouch you can carry it on walks, throw it in the stroller, diaper bag, purse, anything really, but definitely keep it all together and easily portable.

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 1/31/2013 5:54:10 AM

Can you use the Benadryl spoons for a 3 year old? The link says 6+. We don't have them up here, just liquid or chewables.


I was told when you are dealing with anaphylaxis, forget anything other than stopping the anaphylaxis. I know in the er, they gave me 4x the package directions amount of bendryl.

scrappygirlnextdoor
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:24:09 AM
I keep both in my purse, then my purse with me constantly. I also have a ziplock bag with both in it for when he goes somewhere without me. I give it to whomever he is with. You'll get used to it!
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pjaye
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:42:45 AM
In a true anaphylactic reaction giving oral antihistamine will be absolutely useless.
Don't even bother deluding yourself that it will make a difference, it won't.
One of the first signs will be swelling of the mouth and throat - so there's a limited chance of actually being able to swallow anything oral, and even if they were able to swallow some of it, then it is going to take 15 - 20 minutes to start working - by that time the brain will be damaged from the lack of oxygen.
If someone has been prescribed an Epi-pen and shows even the slightest sign of a reaction, the ONLY safe treatment is to give them the Epi-pen immediately and call an ambulance (they often need more than one dose)
Antihistamines may have a place in treatment but only as an adjunct and they are not given orally in the acute phase.

Any person who has an Epi-pen just give the injection at the first sign of any allergic reaction. No one dies from having it if it turns out not to be an allergy, but many people DO die from not being given it.

I can't even imagine having the one thing that could save my child and "forgetting" to take it with me.
Are you seriously prepared to take that gamble with your child's life?

Fraidyscrapper
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:11:46 AM
Pjaye, that is not the protocol we were given by the allergist for dealing with my daughter's reactions. So you will forgive me if I go with that instead.
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Juliettie
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:20:51 AM
Our allergist (DS is 8 and has anaphylactic allergy to tree nuts) does not recommend us using Benadryl if we suspect a reaction. His opinion is that if we are experiencing any reaction and suspect it's food-related, we just do the epi and call 911. So, I don't bother with Benadryl anymore.

I carry his Epi-pen with its prescription label in my purse at all times. I have four: one at home, one at school, one in my purse, and one that I try to get DH to take with him when he goes with DS anyplace w/o me. That's the biggest issue for us (leaving it in the soccer bag in the car and having it get too hot or cold, forgetting it at the party, etc.).

I keep the prescription with the Epi so that it has DS's name on it and because I've used it as "evidence" when I need to carry in our own food at places where they say "no outside food." (And I"m not talking about a place like the movies where we can feed ahead of time....things like an all-day sports event at a school that has food as a fundraiser that's homemade and not safe for us!).

Nieka

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:21:31 AM

Pjaye, that is not the protocol we were given by the allergist for dealing with my daughter's reactions. So you will forgive me if I go with that instead.


Agreed. I am alive today because of Benedryl. Benedryl only. We had no epi at that time. (My allergist said that he had never met anyone as allergic as I am to my allergen and will probably never meet another one as allergic).

When I ended up in the ER this summer, the staff was going on and on about me taking as much Benedryl as I did kept the reaction from going into a full ana.

Every allergist I have been to says Benedryl first, then the epi.

pjaye
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Posted: 1/31/2013 7:53:51 AM

Pjaye, that is not the protocol we were given by the allergist for dealing with my daughter's reactions. So you will forgive me if I go with that instead.
Seriously?
I know everyone hates the "reading comprehension" comment but it applies SO often in this place.

My point in the simplest possible terms:
If you are given an epi-pen and told to use an epi-pen for an allergic reaction, then DO NOT simply substitute benadryl instead.

Any normal rational person would understand that if you have been assessed by an allergist and have been given a different protocol then that would be the advice you follow.
I did NOT say ignore any and all previous advice you have ever been given.
I also said "true anaphylaxis" which is different to other types of allergic reaction. Some people have mild reactions that are not anaphylaxis.

The OP wrote that she was given an epi-pen. She does NOT write that she was told to use benadryl, the OP reads to me as if the benadryl is her own idea and that was what I responded to.


I am alive today because of Benedryl. Benedryl only. We had no epi at that time
Then that is a result of sheer luck and not because of good management. It could easily have ended up being fatal, and for many people it is. Just because you survived once doesn't mean you would again, or that someone else would under the same circumstances.

But hey, feel free to ignore the current medical advice - you have every right to give/use benadryl and not use the epi-pen, kill yourself or your kids, it's not going to be my problem.

Emanon
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:00:00 AM

you have every right to give/use benadryl and not use the epi-pen, kill yourself or your kids, it's not going to be my problem.


Well aren't you a peach. So tact and compassion aren't things that you learned to go along with all that medical knowledge? Just because someone disagrees with what you are saying, or has a conflicting protocol given to them by their MD (what are your qualifications BTW?), there is no reason to be such a bitch about it.

KittenOnTheKeys
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:04:24 AM
Let me see...Multiple MD's all saying the same thing vs. some unknown on the Internet...hhhmmmmmmm...I think I will stick with my MD's...obviously their advice has worked multiple times.

MerryMom937
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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:58:07 AM
I carry mine in a small insulated container that I carry in my purse. I put that inside a hard side glasses case. It helps protect it from temperature fluctuations, but I don't leave my purse in my car.

Here is something similar Epi pen kool blanket

When I am hiking or camping and no purse with me, I put the insulated container in my backpack.


NYRican71
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Posted: 1/31/2013 10:43:58 AM
It's tough. My son is allergic to peanuts, eggs and milk.

You will get more accustomed to taking it with you as time goes on. Our son is almost 4 and we still forget occasionally.

A short story...last year on fathers day he was 2 turning 3. We went to the inner harbor to see the tall ships. We had a crazy lunch at cheesecake factory I took the boys outside while dad paid for the food. I was watching the older one turned and the little one had a peanut in his hand. OMG a PEANUT!

I now require the school to carry a pen to the park.

Do get several the more places you have one, the better it will be. We have 2 sets at school one at home and we carry one with us.

We struggle with it everyday to remember to bring the pen. Hang in there you'll get the hang of it.

PEArfect
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Posted: 1/31/2013 11:30:23 AM
I keep Zyrtec in my purse, in the house, and in our vehicles. Maybe I should get some Benadryl though? It's been over a year since I've had an accidental exposure to gluten. I've thought about getting an epi pen, but the Zyrtec has always helped me. I take it as soon as I feel a tickle in my throat or my eyes start to itch because I know I've been exposed.

moveablefeast
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Posted: 1/31/2013 12:00:42 PM

If you are given an epi-pen and told to use an epi-pen for an allergic reaction, then DO NOT simply substitute benadryl instead.


Makes perfect sense. That said, the reason I carry and use Benadryl is because my allergic reactions vary from very severe to fairly mild, and it just seems to depend on the circumstance. A bee sting on the arm could send me to the hospital, or it could give me an itchy throat, a little wheezing, and some redness around my mouth. The former situation is an Epipen/911 situation, the latter is a Benadryl situation. So yes, I carry an Epipen for allergic reactions, but I do sometimes use Benadryl instead of an Epipen because sometimes using an Epipen is what my husband calls "squirrel hunting with a bazooka".

cermcn
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Posted: 1/31/2013 1:11:52 PM
We have a 12 yr old, at 9 months she was diagnosed with multiple food allergies and at 3 yrs with asthma. I had always kept these in my purse, now she keeps 2 epis, inhaler, benadryl capsules (we know liquid is better) and she also has an "emergency information sheet"-this includes, name, DOB, weight, address, phone contacts for parents, doctors and a back up friend contact. She keeps her items in a vera bradley wallet style bag. We have extra epis in the house for back up.
We have a friend who keeps hers on the key rack, so whomever takes her son somewhere will automatically grab the "to go bag"-she uses a clear plastic pencil style bag.
Good Luck!

SmartyPants71
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Posted: 1/31/2013 1:23:07 PM
You just have to get used to carrying it with you all them time. I don't carry an epipen, but I do carry my insulin pens which are also temperature sensitive. Trust me - when your life depends on it, you don't forget. I carry mine in a small cosmetic case. Actually it's one of the free ones that Target was sending out. Since I live in a pretty hot climate, I also have an insulated case for it. I use the ones made by Frio.

ETA: Picture of Frio pen case. I believe this will fit the Epipen also. If not, they make a Frio dual storage that is slightly larger. It only requires cold water to activate the cooling mechanism. Works really great!

gale w
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Posted: 1/31/2013 4:41:54 PM
We also use a frio during the summer. We bought a single like shown above, and it will only hold one epi. So it's useless for us. I need to get one size up. We have an XL right now and it's huge.

eta: I keep an empty ziploc bag in the car, so if we need to recharge the frio on the go, I just have to buy a bottle of water somewhere and put the frio and some of the water in the bag and let it soak while we're driving. By the time we get to our destination, it's ready. This has saved us when I forget to soak it before we leave or we decide to take an unexpected trip to the zoo, mini golf, etc. during the summer.

KristinL16
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Posted: 2/1/2013 4:53:59 PM
I ended up getting two of those epi blankets and will find a pouch to put it and the benadryl in. Thanks!
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