Prescribe the patient epinephrine, and provide detailed instructions on when and how to properly administer it. It is important that the patient is instructed to carry the epinephrine with them at all times. Epinephrine counteracts the symptoms of anaphylaxis by constricting the blood vessels and opening the airways, but oftentimes a patient will need a second dose of epinephrine within 10-15 minutes, so it’s important that they seek medical treatment immediately.
Studies have found that less than 30% of patients carry their epinephrine autoinjector device at all times, and less than 45% are able to demonstrate proper administration of the device1. This is why it is important for Emergency Department personnel to also inform their patients of Venom Immunotherapy (VIT), a treatment option that works with their immune system, so the protection is always with them.
1 Goldberg, A., Confino-Cohen, R. Insect sting-inflicted systemic reactions: attitudes of patients with insect venom allergy regarding after-sting behavior and proper administration of epinephrine.
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 106 (6): 1184-1189, 2000.