Anaphylaxis Checklist for Patients
1. Prescribed adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors
- Check that your prescribed adrenaline autoinjector/s (e.g. EpiPen®) dose is appropriate: 150 microgram devices for children weighing 7.5 to 20kg and 300 microgram devices for children weighing over 20kg and adults, including pregnant women.
- Two adrenaline autoinjectors for children or adults are rebated by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in Australia. No devices are currently rebated by Pharmac in New Zealand.
- If additional adrenaline autoinjector/s are required, these can be purchased from pharmacies, and are not rebated by PBS or Pharmac.
- Check and note the expiry date of the autoinjector/s you purchase and consider joining an expiry reminder club (e.g. EpiClub).
- Ensure that an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (RED) has been completed by your doctor or nurse practitioner (available online at www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/ascia-action-plan-for-anaphylaxis).
- Remember to always carry an adrenaline autoinjector and ASCIA Action Plan.
- Store adrenaline autoinjectors away from excessive heat or cooling. For information go to www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/adrenaline-autoinjector-storage-expiry-and-disposal
- Check adrenaline autoinjector updates at www.allergy.org.au/members/adrenaline-autoinjector-availability
2. Anaphylaxis and adrenaline autoinjector education and training
- It is important to understand that adrenaline is the first line treatment for anaphylaxis and that antihistamines should not be used for the treatment for anaphylaxis. If antihistamines are used to treat mild to moderate allergic reactions, only non-sedating antihistamines should be used.
- Complete free ASCIA online anaphylaxis training for community at https://anaphylaxis.ascia.org.au to learn how to recognise signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, how to give an adrenaline autoinjector and to know that you need to phone an ambulance immediately afterwards.
- Ensure that you know how to use an adrenaline autoinjector/s using a trainer device. Trainer devices are available from the supplier or patient support organisations.
- For further information and support consider joining a patient support organisation (Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia or www.allergyfacts.org.au or Allergy New Zealand www.allergy.org.nz).
3. Other issues to consider
- Check that your asthma is well managed and see your doctor or nurse practitioner if further action is required. If you are at risk of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and have asthma that is not well controlled, you are at increased risk of fatal anaphylaxis.
- Translated information is available at www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis#ta5 which includes the ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis, How to give EpiPen® and general information about anaphylaxis.
- If you have left an adrenaline autoinjector at school, early childhood education/care or office, ensure that you collect the device before you leave for an extended time (e.g. during school holidays or if you are working from home).
© ASCIA 2020
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.
ASCIA resources are based on published literature and expert review, however, they are not intended to replace medical advice.
The content of ASCIA resources is not influenced by any commercial organisations.
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