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Kopperl, TX
A 29-year-old female asked:

Can an adult epipen (epinephrine) be used on a child during life threatening anaphylaxis? my 7 &9 yo sons have had hive reactions in the past. i keep an epi for me.

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Milleranswered
Family Medicine 10 years experience
No, need kid's dose: First off, if your kids have only reacted with hives, you need to not over-react unless they have a history of anaphylactic reactions to various things. This should be investigate by a qualified allergist if you are concerned. Second, if their allergies warrent using an epipen, (epinephrine) then need to have their own, which will contain an kid's dose vs an adult dose.
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Allergy and Immunology 44 years experience
Hope these 2 answers are not confusing. In the 1st I addressed dosing considerations. Dr. Miller, a competent medical student, addresses the question of only giving epinephrine for anaphylaxis not just for hives. Anyone with anaphylaxis needs their own EpiPen because to be useful it must be with them at all times. You can use another's EpiPen in an emergency but the safest path is for each person to have their own.
Jul 13, 2012
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Allergy and Immunology 44 years experience
Yes.: The dose of Epinephrine is 0.005 ml per pound. So a 30 pound child (2 years old) needs Epipen (epinephrine) jr. (0.15 ml). At 60# we switch to Epipen (epinephrine) (0.3 ml). Many allergists consider the junior dose inadequate for children over 50 lbs. I switch my patients to Epipen (epinephrine) when they reach 54 lbs. If your kids were my patients i'd tell you to go for it but you should discuss this question with their doctors.

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Last updated Oct 5, 2020

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