Skip to Content
Home > Health Resources > Allergies: Giving Yourself an Epinephrine Shot
View Additional Section Content
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
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 MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 12, 2016
Current as of:
February 12, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
2700 Clay Edwards Drive, Ste 240, North Kansas City, MO 64116