Severe allergy sufferers complain that they have been left without a life-saving medicine

Local news according to the demand is for the treatment of severe, in some cases even fatal allergic reactions EpiPen-injection that it became a shortage in Székesfehérvár.

The life-saving drug, which is practically the only solution to a sudden circulatory collapse anaphylactic shockthere are several versions: EpiPen for adults and EpiPen Junior for children with allergies.

As it turned out on Wednesday, the latter, the junior version, was inaccessible in the pharmacies of the coronation town after it ran out of wholesale. It is now promised that parents will be able to get the medicine for the first time in late June. The adult version will be available without interruption as long as someone orders it, EpiPent will be available the next day, he said. Schneider Attilthehead of the Fejér County Pharmaceutical Chamber.

The significance of EpiPen is that anaphylactic shock, an extremely severe or even fatal allergic reaction, can only be treated with such timely adrenaline injections. And the EpiPen is nothing more than an easy-to-use medical device, a thigh-loaded auto-injector with pre-filled adrenaline. Allergy sufferers with a history of proven anaphylactic seizures should always carry two such devices.

Has EipPen become a shortfall nationwide?

After that, we wanted to know what the situation is at the national level, whether there is a shortage of EpiPen Junior, which is a life-saving substance elsewhere.

Yes, unfortunately, this is also the case at the national level, he confirmed to the Index Janklovics Natasaa representative of the Association for Anaphylactic Allergies.

There’s just a sneaky piece here and there, but it’s nowhere to be found in EpiPen Junior, which is a huge problem. Thus, the parents concerned are now forced to travel to Austria or procure from elsewhere. This is especially problematic now, because the camping season started with the holidays, and the minimum is that the affected allergic child also takes his medicine with him.

Added Natasa Janklovics, confirming that all those who have recently received their diagnosis that they need the medicine are in big trouble. As well as their peers who have recently expired the warranty on their EpiPen.

According to the distributor and OGYÉI, there is no shortage

While parents and stakeholders are concerned and claim that they will no longer be able to purchase any EpiPen Juniors within the country, Viatris has informed the Index that it has sufficient stocks of EpiPen and EpiPen Junior and that its wholesale partners are being served on an ongoing basis. . When we asked back which pharmacy to go to for the drug then, we got the same general answer that was first written to us. So we were left without concretes. Meanwhile, OGYÉI’s response came to pass, literally quoting: “The information about the lack of EpiPen Junior is wrong! According to the data of the marketing authorization holder and the information confirmed by the pharmaceutical wholesalers today, a significant stock of approximately 3.5–4 months is still available from both strengths (adult, pediatric). So pharmacies are free to order from the otherwise prescription product, wholesalers will be able to deliver, and they will also be able to meet any growing demands due to the subsidy that will come into force on July 1st. ”

What should someone whose medicine has expired in the meantime?

Nonetheless, one of the general, main messages of the Association for Anaphylactic Allergy, regardless of the current situation, is that once a specialist is diagnosed with a type of allergy that can cause anaphylaxis, their first journey should lead to the pharmacy where they trigger the life-saving device. At the same time, the drug can only really save a life if it is on hand from 0 to 24 hours from now on, emphasizes Natasa Janklovics.

The association representing those affected by anaphylactic allergies also has a suggestion as to what should be done with the EpiPen that has recently expired, but is not yet able to obtain a new one. As Natasa Janklovics says, medicines that have an expiration of 12-18 months are not discarded for the time being: keep them the same and use them boldly if there is a problem.

Indeed, recent research suggests that even some expired auto-injectors will be able to cover the amount of drug needed to deliver anaphylactic shock outside the hospital. This is done, among others, by the U.S. Medicines Agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) most recently, 2019 resolution also confirmed.

Of course, they do not encourage those involved to use expired products. It is a question of anyone who temporarily only has access to such an EpiPen auto-injector dare to use it for an anaphylactic reaction, because an expired product is better than nothing – Natasa Janklovics points out.

As of July 1, TB support is already available

Also a recent development in the case, which has also been revealed in recent days, is that life-saving adrenaline auto-injectors, which also fall into the EpiPen category, will be eligible for TB support from July 1, the AllerGenius Association, which started this year, to lobby for this with the Hungarian Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, which also played a key role in achieving TB support.

As a result of the civil and professional lobby, EpiPen was added to the support list of the National Health Insurance Fund on June 17: both the adult and junior versions.

In practice, this means that anyone who has had an anaphylactic shock will now receive an adrenaline injection that can be inserted into the thigh with one hundred percent support. And if someone is potentially anaphylactic, they get a seventy percent discount on the drug.

This is also a huge help for those involved, because the adrenaline auto-injector has so far been mostly available at a price of HUF 16-20 thousand, the warranty period of which expires after one year.

From the tragedy in Újpest to free medicine

The anaphylactic shock and its drug, EpiPen, came into focus in January this year due to a tragedy. It happened in January that a seven-year-old boy lost his life after a school birthday cake in Újpest. As it turned out, the malaise was caused by a food allergy, including a severe allergy to peanuts, which led to anaphylactic shock and eventually the death of an infant.

Then in May, the dramatic case was repeated in a kindergarten, also in Újpest. But thanks to the presence of kindergarteners and the adrenaline injection at hand, this little boy survived the anaphylactic shock with a severe allergic reaction. As a result of the tragedy in January, the local government of Újpest also provided life-saving medicine to all local educational institutions.

Since January, in addition to Újpest, numerous Hungarian local governments and educational institutions have taken action and purchased the life-saving allergy medicine on their own behalf. Life-saving adrenaline auto-injectors have been entering Hungarian kindergartens and schools ever since, and teachers are being prepared to use the drug in parallel.

However, the already mentioned non-governmental organizations and the profession also want a central decision to be made that every Hungarian educational institution should have two adrenaline auto-injectors. Also, educate educators with a brief education on recognizing anaphylactic shock and using life-saving medication.

Who can be involved?

Some foods, foods, and medications can cause severe, and sometimes life-threatening, allergic reactions. The so-called anaphylactic shock comes unexpectedly, and many people don’t even know if they or a family member is affected.

The most common allergens that can cause anaphylactic shock are:

  • peanuts;
  • nuts;
  • fish and seafood;
  • milk and egg whites in children;
  • soybeans;
  • certain medicines;
  • it can also cause insect venom, especially wasp stings;
  • moreover, the cause of the symptoms may not be determined.

A honeydew bite is risky because someone who hasn’t happened to it before will never know if he or she will be the next to react with a life-threatening allergic attack. However, in food allergies, some tests can already be used to estimate the risk of anaphylactic shock following an allergen.

He said earlier Csilla Csáki pediatrician, allergist for the Index.

The specialist’s experience is that milk and egg allergies in children are usually detected at the age of one or two, but oilseeds, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, fish and crustaceans are more problematic. This is because it is not uncommon for parents to be unaware of a severe food allergy until their child is in school, even at the age of seven or eight, because many do not dare to include these foods in their diets on the advice of a pediatrician or nurse.

This is how a serious food allergy can be revealed in a kindergarten or school, where, for the first time in a child’s life, they eat hazelnut cream bread, says Csilla Csáki.

But what exactly is anaphylaxis?

“Contrary to misconceptions, the leading symptom of anaphylactic shock is not suffocation, but a sudden circulatory collapse. This causes a high degree of vasodilation due to the histamine-releasing substances, which lowers blood pressure and prevents the heart from pumping enough blood into the organs. As a result, the patient passes out.

Anaphylactic shock may begin with severe vomiting, abdominal cramps, shortness of breath or fainting, paleness, and spectacular rashes on the face, eyelids and lips. We certainly do not make a mistake by calling an ambulance immediately in the event of a major illness that appears to be severe and administering life-saving medication on the advice of a dispatcher. It should not be a problem later if the adrenaline was given unnecessarily or too soon, as the side effects of the drug when administered to the thigh muscle were negligible, Csilla Csáki told Index, who also played a major role in getting TB support to EpiPen.

(Cover image: EpiPen injections. Photo: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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