After careful consideration, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology canceled its annual meeting that was to take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from March 13 to 16, because of concerns regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Although the live events will not proceed as planned, our readers can still find coverage of research that was scheduled to be presented at the meeting.

Epinephrine is more often prescribed for venom allergy and idiopathic anaphylaxis than for food allergy despite its potential as a life-saving drug for allergic reactions, according to study results intended to be presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

Researchers conducted this study to assess allergist trends in the use and prescription of epinephrine. A 19-item survey was electronically distributed to a 20% sample of AAAAI members, and to all members of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). The survey inquired about epinephrine prescribing trends and treatment scenarios.

Researchers revealed that 648 people responded to the survey; 97% of whom reported routinely prescribing epinephrine autoinjectors (EAIs). An estimated 70.1% of respondents always prescribed EAIs for food allergies compared with 92.3% who prescribed EAIs for idiopathic anaphylaxis, 84.4% for venom immunotherapy, 49.4% for biologics, and 29.4% for inhalant immunotherapy. A total of 58% respondents reported that antihistamines have no or a limited role in the treatment of allergic reactions and 13.8% recommended using epinephrine for a food trigger in patients with a history of mild symptoms, compared with 20.5% recommended it for a venom trigger.

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In addition, 61.4% of respondents routinely provide emergency action plans to patients. Time in practice was significantly associated with reduced odds of EAI prescription for immunotherapy, but not with providing an emergency action plan, advising on preemptive use, or the use of antihistamines

The study researchers concluded that there are wide variations in practice in the use of epinephrine. 


Greenhawt M, Wang J. Allergist trends in epinephrine prescribing and usage patterns. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020;145(Suppl 2):AB8.

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This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor