Asthma can require food-allergic children to need extra medicine

6/19/2008

MILWAUKEE According to new research in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, a second dose of the allergy medication epinephrine was needed in nearly 1 out of 5 cases of food-induced anaphylaxis in children. As part of this study, the researchers also stated that nearly all patients who required the increased dosage also suffered from asthma.

The study stated that many children and adults at risk of severe allergic reactions are currently advised to carry only a single epinephrine auto-injector, but a conclusion of the study was that, “the recommendation to carry two doses of epinephrine should as a minimum be extended to individuals with asthma and significant food allergies,” according to lead author Kirsi Jarvinen of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The study consisted of 413 food-allergic children. The researchers identified 78 patients who had received epinephrine to treat a total of 95 anaphylactic reactions. Parents of the children were asked to recall the suspected food trigger, how rapidly symptoms developed and the timing of treatment.

Of the 95 reactions treated with epinephrine, a second dose of the medication was administered in 19 percent of cases (18 patients). A third dose was required in 6 percent of cases (6 cases). Of those who received multiple doses, all but one (94 percent) was also diagnosed with asthma.

Food allergies affect 3 million American children, including 1 in 17 children under the age of 3, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Additionally, about 9 million children in the United States have asthma.

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