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Author Topic: When to use epi-pen?  (Read 4235 times)
John Pfaff
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« on: June 03, 2011, 02:17:55 PM »

Two days ago I wa stung 30-40 times around each ankel. The first night my teeth chattered, my body shook and I had frequent cramps in both legs. Last night was peaceful. It still hurts to walk.

What would an epi-pen injection to reduce these symptoms? What do other forum readers do when stung too many times to count?
Later,
John.
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John Pfaff
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 02:26:40 PM »

Sorry, stung on my ankles - I am sure someone would help me with my spelling if I did not fix.
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hankdog1
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 02:30:11 PM »

Sounds like benadryl would have been the thing to take for you.  Unless of course you had difficulty breathing or your blood pressure dropped.  Then an epi pen would have been the choice until you got to the doctor or emergancy room.  Benadryl in liquid form is good at blocking the absorbtion of the posion since it is taken up faster then the pill form.
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John Pfaff
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 02:36:33 PM »

So, the epi-pen would not help with the shivering/teeth chattering, or the cramping? I do not know - just asking.
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Keith13
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 02:46:54 PM »

I'm no doctor but epi is epinephrine  or adrenaline  it is used to react to the poison it could possibly kill you if you are not having a full blown reaction I think again not sure but I would have used benadryl first then if like mentioned before breathing or heart problems arose used the epi pen

Keith
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caticind
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 02:50:25 PM »

Epi-pens are to be used for symptoms of systemic allergic reaction.  Traditionally, this means itching and hives far from the sting, and airway swelling, but it can also include flushing, sweating, abnormal anxiety (not that it's easy to tell it's abnormal after being stung 80 times!  Cry), rapid pulse, vomiting, and dizziness, if they occur within about 24 hours of the sting.

Your symptoms don't sound like anaphylaxis, but if you are worried you should consider speaking to a doctor about getting tested for bee venom sensitivity.  And use duct tape on your suit cuffs next time!

I can imagine that so many stings on the ankle would cause a lot of pain and swelling in the legs, even if you are not sensitive to bee venom.  But epi-pens don't really do anything for the local symptoms, and the epinephrine might make you very uncomfortable (heart racing or skipping beats, high blood pressure) if you take it when there is no systemic reaction to counteract.  For your (really strange) symptoms, who knows!  I definitely wouldn't recommend using an epipen for symptoms like that without medical advice.  The amount of epinephrine in an epi-pen shouldn't kill you but can give you some really nasty side effects and maybe do you some damage.  It's meant for life-threatening situations only.

Take some Benadryl ASAP after getting many stings in order to keep the swelling down, and apply ice to the site of the stings.  It won't stop you from absorbing the venom - the bees have already made quite sure that it is in your body - but reducing swelling will make the pain less.
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octagon
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2011, 02:53:23 PM »

you might want to go get  cked to see if you are allergic, those Epi pens are about 100.00
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hankdog1
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2011, 03:10:24 PM »

Quote
It won't stop you from absorbing the venom - the bees have already made quite sure that it is in your body - but reducing swelling will make the pain less.

Injection of the venom is only part of absorbing the venom as it is a neurotoxin it must attach to nerve receptors.  Benadryl blocks it from attaching to the nerve therefore little absorption.
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deknow
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2011, 03:49:17 PM »

if you use an epipen, it is because you have already decided to get medical attention (like the emergency room).

deknow
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caticind
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2011, 03:51:28 PM »

Quote
It won't stop you from absorbing the venom - the bees have already made quite sure that it is in your body - but reducing swelling will make the pain less.

Injection of the venom is only part of absorbing the venom as it is a neurotoxin it must attach to nerve receptors.  Benadryl blocks it from attaching to the nerve therefore little absorption.

Ooops.  You're right about absorption.  But not about that bit with the neurotoxin.  Part of bee venom is a neurotoxin (apamin), true.  But it's a toxin that binds to SK channels (Calcium-activated potassium channels).   Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is a sodium channel blocker and a H1-receptor histamine blocker.  So it works to prevent the absorbtion of histamine, which is also a component of bee venom.  That's why it helps reduce the inflammatory and allergic response to a bee sting.  Benadryl doesn't do anything to prevent absorption of apamin.

So you're right that absorption is important to the bee sting response.  But it's not the absorption of the neurotoxin component that is affected by Benadryl, but of the histamine. [/nit-pick]

deknow has the take-home message.  Don't use an epi-pen unless you already think your next stop is urgent medical care.
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2011, 03:57:35 PM »

And an epi-pen won't cure anything, just give you enough life to get to the ER.
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Rick
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 04:22:54 PM »

http://files.epipen.gethifi.com/footer-pdfs/patient-packaging-insert-pdf/Patient-Information.pdf

http://www.epipen.com/how-to-use-epipen

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AliciaH
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2011, 04:24:32 PM »

Part of bee venom is a neurotoxin (apamin), true.  But it's a toxin that binds to SK channels (Calcium-activated potassium channels).   Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is a sodium channel blocker and a H1-receptor histamine blocker.  So it works to prevent the absorbtion of histamine, which is also a component of bee venom.  That's why it helps reduce the inflammatory and allergic response to a bee sting.  Benadryl doesn't do anything to prevent absorption of apamin.

I've had bad local reactions to stings and have tried to take Benedryl to help with the swelling but it didn't.  I guess the above explains why; it's not an allergic reaction, just a localized one.

I can only imagine the pain and swelling of 30-40 in a single area.

Has anyone tried using a basic anti-inflammatory (ibuprofin) for a reaction like this?  If so, did it help?
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John Pfaff
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 05:24:37 PM »

Yes and the answer is that a basic anti-inflamatory does not begin to touch it.
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2011, 07:11:24 PM »

the benadryl will help with the swelling if it's taken right away.  it also may help with the itching later, although i fine a hairbrush to be more effective. (and the Vagisil)

the muscle cramps were probably from protein dumping into your system.  you may feel a bit crappy for a few days.  drink plenty of fluids to flush it out.

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 Alexis de Tocqueville
hankdog1
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2011, 09:20:41 PM »

I've been told meat tenderizer works when put on the site of the sting.  Don't know if it really works but I think it was more something my grandpa told me to shut me up when I was little.   grin
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AllenF
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2011, 09:27:30 PM »

?

It would have shut me up also.
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hardwood
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2011, 10:53:20 PM »

Although I'm desensitized enough to not need it anymore, meat tenderizer (adolphs) seemed to work really well for me. It breaks down the proteins.

Scott
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L Daxon
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2011, 12:05:43 AM »

I use the Children's Liquid Benadryl, cherry flavored, yum, yum.   I usually take about 1/4 of the bottle, maybe even more if I had 40-80 stings.  Can't really overdose on the Benadryl. They also make Benadryl topical application sticks to apply to the site of the sting. Ice is great too for the swelling. I think the sooner you down the Benadryl after the sting the better.

I have an epi-pen cause I had a really bad reaction (full body hives, flushing, major swelling) last year.  But since that bad reaction from one sting on the hand I have been fine.  Got stung 12 times on my legs last month with virtually no reaction at all.

You have to have a prescription for the eip-pen and the pen expires after a year, so you have to keep getting one each year.  Mine with insurance cost about $60.  Ask your doc he recommends.

Linda D
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2011, 07:37:19 AM »

>What would an epi-pen injection to reduce these symptoms?

No.  It will help keep you breathing and your blood pressure up to closer to normal if you are dying from anaphalxis.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2011, 07:56:48 AM »

My Question ;

How did you get stung 30-40 times on each ankle Huh

Drop a frame ?
Trip over a hive ?
Working bees in the dark ?

Sorry about the results.

What ever it was, bet YOU don't do it again !!
Lesson learned !

Bee-Bop


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John Pfaff
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2011, 08:38:50 AM »

How did I get stung 30-40 times on each ankle? I took the cover off the first hive to put feeders back on and the bees poured out through the inner cover hole in a solid stream. I had my jeans and bee suit cuffs tucked into my socks like always - never stung there before.

Yesterday noticed 50 or so dead bees in front of each hive. On examination, found them to be missing body parts; legs, etc. Watched for a few minutes and saw a couple of bees ejected from hive to fall dead - robbing at it's best. I reduced the entrances but am not convinced that will take care of the problem.
Later,
John.
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GoatLady
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2011, 11:57:16 AM »

I've read that PrimaTeen (sp?) Mist would help. Any thoughts on this?
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John Pfaff
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2011, 01:45:31 PM »

Thanks, but death was not a consideration - just personal comfort, wanting to walk, etc.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2011, 12:54:43 AM »

when I was a kid a knocked over one of my uncles hives and got hit about 100 times. I was  only  10 at the time. they used a whole carton of camel cigarette's . took the tobacco out and wet  it down and covered the entire area of my back. the swelling and dizziness went away in about 2 hours. It worked!
only sideffect was the smell and the yellowing. took about a week before the yellow was gone.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2011, 05:19:40 AM »

The best topical treatment for stings that I've found is Plantain.  Tobacco is probably next, followed by wet crushed aspirin and a few others.
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Michael Bush
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D Semple
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2011, 06:24:36 PM »


 it also may help with the itching later, although i fine a hairbrush to be more effective. (and the Vagisil)


Boy, I love this site, who'd a thunk. 

Can't wait to tell my wife what I need next for my emergency care bee bucket. grin

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kathyp
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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2011, 06:38:34 PM »

get the extra strength.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
John Pfaff
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2011, 06:47:48 PM »

A carton of Camel unfiltered for me - wife will never believe what I want ir for...
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