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GPs to prescribe 2 auto injectors for severe allergies

By
WebMD UK Health News Brief
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks
Stethescope

22nd August 2017 -- The medicines regulator MHRA has updated guidance to doctors on adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs) for people with severe allergies to confirm that 2 should now be prescribed.

People will also be advised to carry both injector pens with them at all times in case of a severe allergic reaction - called anaphylaxis.

The guidance change followed a review by the European Medicines Agency that found uncertainties about the site of the auto injector being used for drug delivery and the speed of the adrenaline acting inside the body.

The second pen is to be used 5 to 15 minutes after the first one if the person isn’t starting to feel better.

The MHRA also says training for use of the injectors is vital for people with allergies and severe allergic asthma, and for their carers. It also recommends getting a free training device to practise with.

Severe allergic reactions are a medical emergency and the pens are the first line of treatment before an ambulance or paramedics arrive. The regulator says people should call 999 even if the symptoms are improving, and make sure they use the word 'anaphylaxis'.

'Great news'

The decision has been welcomed by the charity Allergy UK. In a statement, CEO Carla Jones, says: "This is great news. The updated advice from the MHRA confirms what we’ve supported all along, that people should be prescribed two AAIs to carry at all times. We are pleased to see this advice has been reconfirmed in the updated guidelines, following the review by the European Medicines Agency.

"We know that serious concerns have been expressed by the allergic community on the issues that arise from only having one AAI, including ambulance response times and the variability of first-response paramedics in carrying adrenaline. We hope that this updated advice provides some clarity on the subject and provides some reassurance to people in the allergic community."

Reviewed on August 22, 2017

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