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Allergies Health Center

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Allergies to Insect Stings

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What Are Epinephrine Sting Kits?

Epinephrine sting kits can be self administered and are important for you to use immediately after being stung, before you get to a doctor for treatment. The two most common have the brand names Ana-Kit and Epi-Pen. However, these kits should not be used as a substitute for medical intervention. You should still see a doctor after being stung. Epinephrine alone is not always enough to reverse serious allergic sting reactions and may cause serious side effects in some people with heart conditions or people who are taking certain medicines.

You will need a prescription from your doctor to purchase one of these kits. Carry two kits with you at all times. In order to prevent drug interactions, be sure to let your doctor know about any medicine you are taking.

How Can I Prevent an Allergic Reaction to an Insect Sting?

Allergic reactions to insect stings can be prevented with allergy shots. The treatment is about 97% effective in preventing future reactions and involves injecting gradually increasing doses of venom that stimulate your immune system to become resistant to a future allergic reaction.

If you've had an allergic reaction, it's important to talk to an allergist, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disease. Based on your history and test results, the allergist will determine if you are a candidate for immunotherapy treatment.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 12, 2014
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