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Health Canada has recently confirmed that EpiPens will likely be unavailable for purchase in Canada for a 2 to 4 week period in January/February 2018. Epinephrine is the only recognized treatment for anaphylactic reactions and there is no competing product available to Canadians who at risk for anaphylaxis. Of note, this is only for EpiPens, and not EpiPen Jr.’s--for which there is no lack of supply. In the short run, pharmacies may only dispense 1 EpiPen at a time to each individual, in order to allow more individuals to have at least 1 Pen.
Of note, the expiry dates on EpiPens are for the end of the month listed (if it says 'Jan 2018', then it would expire at the end of January). For those who only have ‘expired’ EpiPens in their possession, we would still recommend use of these devices in case of an emergency although preference should be given to using those not listed as ‘out of date’. Recent studies have shown that EpiPens still retain some of their potency for periods of time past their expiry date. Following the use of any EpiPen, 911 should be called for further potential epinephrine administration and further evaluation.
Also, of note, for new EpiPen prescriptions, patients could be prescribed 2 EpiPen Jrs. to have the equivalent of 1 EpiPen during the shortage.
The shortage should hopefully be over by March 2, 2018 and any further updates on this topic will be posted to the CSACI website.
Members of the allergy community’s hearts go out to 3 year-old Alastair Watson’s family and friends. Alastair died during a routine oral food challenge this week. His death is a tragedy, and we cannot even imagine the horror of this loss.
Oral food challenges have been conducted for decades to test whether someone is allergic to a certain food. This is the first reported fatality associated with an oral food allergy challenge. While even one death is too many, oral food challenges are considered the ‘gold standard’ test to determine if someone is allergic to a food. Allergists use this test when a person’s medical history and/or allergy test results are inconclusive. They are also given to determine if someone with previously diagnosed food allergy has developed tolerance, and may no longer be allergic.Read More »
Les tests de provocation orale sont utilisés depuis des décennies pour vérifier si une personne est allergique à un aliment donné. Il s’agit du premier décès signalé à être associé à un test de provocation orale. Bien qu’un seul décès soit déjà trop, les tests de provocation orale sont considérés comme « l’épreuve de choix » pour déterminer si une personne est allergique à un aliment. Les allergologues utilisent ce test lorsque les antécédents médicaux et/ou les résultats des tests d’allergie d’une personne ne sont pas concluants. Ils sont aussi effectués pour déterminer si une personne préalablement diagnostiquée avec une allergie alimentaire a développé une tolérance et n’est peut-être plus allergique.Lire la suite »
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