Valentine's Day Provides Families with Teachable Moments About Potentially Life-Threatening Allergies
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Valentine's Day brings the exchange of cards and candy, and marks a popular time for social events and dates involving food. But for parents whose children have life-threatening food allergies, it is also a time for continuing their important dialogue about avoiding allergic triggers and preparedness should anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction) occur. This importance is highlighted by a recent survey* revealing that as many as one in three parents report that their children with life-threatening allergies have experienced anaphylaxis on Valentine's Day.
For this reason, Mylan Specialty L.P., the fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical business of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) and the marketers of EpiPen® (epinephrine) and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors, is encouraging parents of children with potentially life-threatening allergies to initiate a pre-Valentine's Day dialogue with their child about their anaphylaxis action plan. This plan should include avoiding known allergens, recognizing symptoms, having access to two epinephrine auto-injectors at all times and seeking immediate emergency medical care should anaphylaxis occur.
"Talking to children and teens about their potentially life-threatening food allergies and reminding them of their anaphylaxis action plan should be an ongoing dialogue and is clearly important as we head into Valentine's Day, a time when the risk of exposure to food allergens can increase," said Todd A. Mahr, M.D., chair of the Section of Allergy and Immunology of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "While these conversations can be challenging – especially as our children become more independent – they are necessary. The fact is that anaphylaxis can be unpredictable even when you avoid your allergen."
Open and ongoing communication with children who have potentially life-threatening allergies should initiate when they are diagnosed and continue as they mature and face new challenges. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Mylan Specialty, revealed that teens that date were significantly more likely to have experienced anaphylaxis during Valentine's Day than those who do not date (47% versus 13%) and:
- Less than half of parents (47%) talk to their child about risks posed to children with life-threatening allergies from physical contact related to Valentine's Day, such as being kissed by someone who has recently eaten food they may be allergic to
- Only 47% of parents tell their teen that when going on dates, they should tell their date about their life-threatening food allergy
- 35% of parents did not indicate that they remind their teen to bring his/her epinephrine auto-injector on dates
"As an adult with life-threatening food allergies, I've experienced first-hand the unique challenges of dating, including anaphylaxis from just a kiss with my date who had recently eaten one of my allergens. I know the importance of clear communication to those around me to help me stay safe," said Sloane Miller, MSW, LMSW, Food Allergy Coach, and founder of Allergic Girl® Resources, Inc. "As children mature, parents' conversations should evolve with their needs and age-specific concerns. Food allergy talks need to reflect what is happening in their children's lives and the real-life challenges they face on a daily basis."
To help parents with children of all ages be better prepared for Valentine's Day, Miller and Dr. Mahr offer these recommendations:
- Know your child and his/her temperament. An outgoing child will have different communication needs than a shy one. Help them grow to become their own advocate by starting where they are right now.
- Recognize that while having an anaphylaxis action plan is critical, open dialogue about the plan and how it applies to different situations is a key element of being aware and prepared.
- Discuss the anaphylaxis action plan with specific emphasis on the need to avoid allergic triggers and to always have EpiPen Auto-Injectors on hand in case anaphylaxis occurs.
- Communicate that there should not be a fear of using the EpiPen Auto-Injector immediately during a life-threatening allergic reaction. In fact, delays in epinephrine administration have been associated with negative health consequences, even possibly death. Since there are no absolute contraindications to epinephrine administration for an anaphylactic reaction, it is important to administer epinephrine immediately even if all criteria for anaphylaxis diagnosis have not yet been met. Remember, EpiPen Auto-Injector is not a substitute for emergency medical treatment. Seek immediate medical care after EpiPen Auto-Injector is administered.
- Remember to check in with your allergist or other health care provider to discuss any concerns you may have about cross contamination and to review/update your anaphylaxis action plan.
For more information on anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergies and EpiPen Auto-Injector, visit http://epipen.mediaroom.com/.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that has many possible triggers, occurs quickly, without warning, and must be treated immediately with epinephrine. Symptoms may include hives or redness of the skin, tightness in the throat, nausea, dizziness, breathing problems, a decrease in blood pressure and/or fainting. Anaphylaxis can be caused by triggers such as food, stinging and biting insects, medicines, latex or even exercise. Epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. According to the food allergy guidelines developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if experiencing anaphylaxis, a person should use an epinephrine auto-injector and seek immediate emergency medical attention. Epinephrine is a naturally-occurring hormone, also known as adrenaline, and it should be available at all times to patients at risk. Delays in epinephrine administration have been associated with negative health consequences, even possibly death.
Important Safety Information
EpiPen Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you inject into your outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTO YOUR VEIN, BUTTOCK, FINGERS, TOES, HANDS OR FEET. In case of accidental injection, please seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you have certain medical conditions such as asthma, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, have any other medical conditions, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Be sure to also tell your doctor all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. If you have certain medical conditions, or take certain medicines, your condition may get worse or you may have longer lasting side effects when you take the EpiPen or EpiPen Jr Auto Injector.
The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness or shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness or anxiety. These side effects usually go away quickly, especially if you rest.
Talk to your healthcare professional to see if EpiPen or EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector is right for you.
The survey was conducted online, from August 24 to September 3, 2012 in the United States by Harris Interactive, on behalf of Mylan Specialty. Final results are among 302 U.S. adults, age 18+, who self-identified as caregivers of at least one child with a life-threatening allergy to food and/or latex. Data were weighted to be representative of U.S. adults who have children in their household, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. This included weighting by age, gender, income, region, educational status and propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.
About EpiPen® Auto-Injector
EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors are used for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions. Each EpiPen 2-Pak® and EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® contains two single auto-injectors, instructions for use and a training device, with no drug product or needle, to help patients become familiar with the administration technique. EpiPen Auto-Injector should be administered immediately at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction. EpiPen Auto-Injector is not a substitute for emergency medical treatment. Patients should seek emergency medical attention immediately following administration. EpiPen Auto-Injector has been the No. 1 prescribed epinephrine auto-injector for 25 years and has three-step easy-to-follow instructions for use. The product constitutes more than 99% of the epinephrine auto-injector market with more than 46 million EpiPen Auto-Injectors dispensed. For more information about EpiPen Auto-Injector, please visit www.epipen.com.
EpiPen® (epinephrine) 0.3 mg and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) 0.15 mg Auto-Injectors are for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers; and for people who are at increased risk for these reactions. EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are intended for immediate self administration as emergency supportive therapy only. Seek immediate emergency medical treatment after use.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
About Mylan Specialty
Mylan Specialty, a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drug products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, life-threatening allergic reactions and psychiatric disorders. For more information, please visit www.mylanspecialty.com.
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in health care. Working together around the world to provide seven billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service a habit, do what's right, not what's easy and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of more than 1,100 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, we offer a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately one-third of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. We also operate one of the largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers and currently market products in approximately 150 countries and territories. Our workforce of more than 18,000 people is dedicated to improving the customer experience and increasing pharmaceutical access to consumers around the world. But don't take our word for it. See for yourself. See inside. Mylan.com.
EpiPen®, EpiPen Jr®, EpiPen 2-Pak®, and EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® are registered trademarks of Mylan Inc. licensed exclusively to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mylan Specialty L.P.
© 2013 Mylan Specialty L.P. All rights reserved.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
SOURCE Mylan Inc.