Update 4/21/2012: The makers of EpiPen have agreed to remove the commercial below. I want to thank the makers of EpiPen for listening and responding.
EpiPen, a brand-named epinephrine auto-injector that delivers a shot of adrenaline into the system of a food allergic individual having a severe, life threatening reaction, has released a commercial that has the food allergy community up in arms.
The quality of the video below isn’t great, but it’s the only video that I have found. If you have a better quality video or know where I can find one, please let me know.
If it’s hard for you to hear what the mother says, it goes like this:
Excited for Max’s birthday party? Even with your peanut allergy and a cake made with who knows what. Because we’re prepared, right Jake? With EpiPen!
Hold the phone!
Sorry to say, but if this was a real food allergy mom, and I met her, I would give her a piece of my mind. Epinephrine is not like putting aloe on a sunburn when you forget to put sunscreen on and spend more time in the sun than you expected. Epinephrine is a last resort medication. It’s a rescue medication for emergencies for accidental ingestion of a potential allergen.
It’s not an excuse to just eat whatever you want, without looking at the ingredients or knowing what’s in it, because you can just get a shot of adrenaline to save your life. It doesn’t work like that.
Doctors agree that PREVENTION is the key. AVOIDANCE of allergens is the safest way to prevent a life threatening allergic reaction to any food a person may be allergic to.
And here’s a bit of information that you may not have known:
Even WITH an EpiPen, you can STILL DIE.
Yeah, didn’t know that, did you? Or maybe you did, and you’re screaming, “That’s what I said!” at the computer screen right now, because you know that I know what I’m talking about.
It also says right on the box that, if you use the EpiPen, call 911 and/or go to the emergency room right after.
Do you really want to take a trip to the ER after every meal? Really? REALLY?! Do you really want to go to the ER after your EpiPen fails at a birthday party because, “Ah, what the hell. Go ahead and eat the cake even though it probably has nuts in it. We’ll just save your life afterward with your EpiPen!”
[Comments related to diabetes were removed upon request from families living with diabetes. My comments were misinformed, and I hope the diabetes community will accept my sincerest apologies for my spreading of misinformation regarding the condition.]
I once saw a woman in the store who was looking for some diphenhydramine (or Benadryl, as it is commonly known as). When her daughter asked her why, she said, “Because I want fish tonight.”
Girl: But, Mom. You’re allergic to fish.
Mom: But I want fish. I will take the benadryl before I eat.
Girl: Mom, just don’t eat the fish!
What kind of a world are we living in when a teen daughter has more sense than her own mother? Seriously.
EpiPen needs to stop airing this commercial for several reasons:
First, it is dangerous for families who deal with food allergies. It’s misleading and wreaks of profit gaining tactics. Are you not making enough sales, EpiPen? Do you want people using their EpiPens more often so that they’ll buy more? If so, shame on you.
Second, it paints a nasty picture of food allergy families to those who don’t have food allergies. “What do you mean he can’t eat the pizza? Can’t you just use your EpiPen?”
Many thanks to Arizona Food Allergy for bringing this information to light.
Question: What are your thoughts about the EpiPen commercial?
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