Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Allergies: Giving Yourself an Epinephrine Shot
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. If you have had a severe allergic reaction in the past, you know how frightening it can be. Symptoms of breathing problems, itching, and swelling can come on quickly and become life-threatening. Giving yourself an epinephrine shot can slow down or stop an allergic reaction. That's why it is important to have epinephrine with you at all times and to know the right way to use it: it could save your life someday.
The shot does not replace the need to be seen by a doctor. After giving yourself a shot, seek emergency care. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can return or get worse after an epinephrine shot.
You should feel the effects of the medicine almost right away. These may include a rapid heartbeat and nervousness as well as improved breathing. The benefits of the shot usually last 10 to 20 minutes.
In some severe cases, you may need to give a second shot. Your doctor will explain when a second shot is needed. Make sure you understand, and ask questions if you are not sure. Too much epinephrine can cause serious side effects, such as trouble breathing.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofOctober 6, 2017
Current as of:
October 6, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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