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Discussion Starter #1
Will be setting up some packages on Friday. I am pretty sure that no one in my family is allergic to bees, but not 100 percent sure.

Should I see if their doctors will prescribe a epi-pen to have on hand just incase they do have a reaction? If so how should I ask the dr, like what info will he need?
 

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Deciding you want it around is a personal decision. Packages are pretty docile. I get stung routinely and have hardly any reaction. My wife and I both have a medical background and figured we'd keep them around. I said to Dr, "I'm beekeeping and working with beehives on a regular basis, we wanted to have an epi-pen available at the house." Response, "OK here's a prescription." Used to be a coupon that saved like $100... Epi-pens aren't cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
All of my hives will be at my home. So all of my children will be around the hives. I want to be safe. I know that they have a jr model for younger kids.
 

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Epi-pens are not without risk. A serious systemic bee sting reaction to a naive victim is very unlikely, as the body must be pre-conditioned to the allergen first. This is why children are very infrequently victims of bee allergy -- they have not been exposed sufficiently. (as opposed to, say, peanuts which children encounter daily). The dosage must match the body weight to avoid a heart stopping overdose.

Epi-pens are very heat sensitive, and have expiration dates.

Keeping liquid anti-histamine (Childrens Benadryl is a good choice) will serve better as a non-dangerous first aid. Asthma is a risk factor for airway blockage in bee allergy -- if someone has a history of asthma, I would recommend a allergen test be conducted prior to hive installation.
 

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EpiPen is used to treat life threatening allergic reactions only (termed Anaphylaxis). This could be caused by insect stings, food, medications or even contact with latex. I guess you could argue that everyone would be better off carrying one around but usually it's use is reserved to people with a history of severe reaction. If you are to use it properly you would need to be familiar with the signs of anaphylaxis such as a rash covering the body and swelling of the lips and mouth followed by difficulty breathing. Beestings will only cause this reaction very rarely, but if it occurs it would be considered life threatening. Here's an excerpt from EpiPen's website.

What Is a Life-Threatening Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis)?

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur quickly (as fast as within a couple of minutes). Symptoms of anaphylaxis vary, but can include hives, itching, flushing, and swelling of the lips, tongue, and roof of the mouth. The airway is often affected, resulting in tightness of the throat, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. These reactions can also be accompanied by chest pain, low blood pressure, dizziness and headaches.

EpiPens are for people over 66 lbs. and EpiPen Jr, is for people 33 to 66 Lbs.
 

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Epi-pens are not without risk. A serious systemic bee sting reaction to a naive victim is very unlikely, as the body must be pre-conditioned to the allergen first. This is why children are very infrequently victims of bee allergy -- they have not been exposed sufficiently. (as opposed to, say, peanuts which children encounter daily). The dosage must match the body weight to avoid a heart stopping overdose.

Epi-pens are very heat sensitive, and have expiration dates.

Keeping liquid anti-histamine (Childrens Benadryl is a good choice) will serve better as a non-dangerous first aid. Asthma is a risk factor for airway blockage in bee allergy -- if someone has a history of asthma, I would recommend a allergen test be conducted prior to hive installation.

Epi-pens are obviously to be reserved for anaphylactic shock, for which, without being a doctor, I'm pretty sure benadryl will not help in the least.

As they can mean the difference between life and death, I really don't see a valid reason not to have one, despite the cost, hassle of getting the prescription, and unlikeliness to need it.
 

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When I told my doctor that I started beekeeping, he gave me a script for Epi Pens for the whole family. I'd rather have them and never need them than to not have them
 

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My doctor would not give me a prescription for an epi-pen. After two trips to the Emergency Room in one week for sting reactions, I now have epi-pens!
 

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Also should know that using an Epi pen is not the end of it. if someone is having a reaction that needs it then they need to get to the Dr soon after for follow up treatment.
 

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See an allergy doctor first to see if you are allergic to honeybees. Simple blood test will tell if you are allergic. Epi pens are very expensive. If you are allergic its cheaper to get the shots.
 

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there is another vendor you can find online by googling auvi-q -- theirs is more an auto-injector, and I think comes in either child or adult dosing.
They may have an online coupon (I know they did last year).
I have an epipen coupon and intend to get new epipens this season.

As pointed out above and in the literature, most of us have extremely low risk for anaphalaxis from honey bee (or wasp) stings.
However, once you need the epipen, it is too late to call for prescription.

Store it properly and have it at a place that everyone knows where it is and how to use it -- and yes, used improperly it can give you a fatal heart attack. In my case, one pen is in my medicine cabinet, second shelf, visible in a clear zip lock bag. The other goes with me to the beeyard in a zip lock bag on the front seat of my vehicle (in hot weather, in a small cooler that has a cup or two of ice water).
 

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I was to the ER twice as well. Nothing like having a half dozen young girls pulling your clothes off; except hearing "his blood pressure is crashing." Was careless and forgot my epi both times. I am more careful now. Would hate to have my bee partner drive a corpse home. Might be pretty traumatic to him and my wife.

And it is correct, if you need your epi, you'll still need to get to the ER pronto.

I am getting allergy shots now. Almost to the maintenance dose of 1.0. Had a bad reaction in the doctor's office at 0.7. Had to call the ambulance and drag my half dead carcass out on a stretcher. Told the doctor this scene is probably bad for business.

Came back the next week, though. Told the nurse, "Dead man walking." She didn't appreciate my sense of humor.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I will contact the VA and see if they will give me a few to keep on hand. I don't have to pay for medical supplies.
 

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I get the bee shoots too. I wont renew my epi pen when my pen expires. Bee shoots are better. One visit to the emergency room is enough for me.
 

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Epi-pens are obviously to be reserved for anaphylactic shock, for which, without being a doctor, I'm pretty sure benadryl will not help in the least.

As they can mean the difference between life and death, I really don't see a valid reason not to have one, despite the cost, hassle of getting the prescription, and unlikeliness to need it.
Exactly!
Epi pen is what you use to keep you alive long enough to make it to the ER.
 

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Something to remember that they are a prescription item and are only good for the person they are written for. It's a ****ed if you do, ****ed if you don't scenario. If you give it or use it on someone you could be held legally liable to anything that happens to them. Is almost the same as sharing prescription pain killers.
 

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"Beeshots" are small doses of bee venom that are administered frequently (once or twice weekly) in increasing doses for a period of time. This serves to increase the level of antibodies such as IgG which do not respond with the severe allergic reaction that the original IgE antibodies do. The IgG antibodies attach to the bee venom allergen and this keeps it away from the IgE antibodies which cause the anaphylactic reaction.
 

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The bee shot program works like this. You need a blood test first to see if you are allergic to honeybees. The first 6 weeks I got 3 shots per week. After the 6 weeks, I get one shot every 4 weeks for a year. My second year. I get a shot every 2 months for a year. My 3rd year I get tested to see if I’m still allergic to bees. If I pass the test I’m 97 percent protected from getting an allergic reaction again. If I fail the test I continue to get the shots for 2 more years. This usually is enough to get you to pass the blood test. Insurance pays for most of it. The program is working for me. I have been stung many times with the shoots in the hands and legs. no reaction. The area that is very sensitive is my face. Any bee sting to the face is severe. Its very important to protect your upper part of body for bee stings. Anybody can get a severe reaction. All it takes is one toxic bee and you will end up in the hospital. Play it safe. Protect yourself when you deal with nature. You don’t have to give up your bees. Like I said epi pens are very expansive. A lot of beekeepers don’t know how to use them the right way. You only need it if your throat is swelling up. You will know when you need it. Take two shots right away and get to the hospital.
 

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If you give it or use it on someone you could be held legally liable to anything that happens to them. Is almost the same as sharing prescription pain killers.
We had a sign up for a red cross epi pen class at our local bee class. After that class you are eligible to administer epinephrine to others. I'm pretty sure good Samaritan law covers you in this case.

At the same class we've been told that one epi pen lasts about 15 min, so it is to keep you breathing until paramedics get there.
 
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