Too few Canadians with food allergies have epinephrine auto-injectors

Published Online: June 24, 2011

Although there is unanimous agreement that epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, many patients with food allergies have not been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI). In an upcoming issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), Soller et al present the first Canadian data on the percentage of food-allergic individuals who have an EAI, and predictors of having the device.

The authors showed that only 45% to 55% of Canadians with food allergies have an EAI. Allergic individuals residing in a household where the respondent was married or living with a partner, children, females, those with multiple allergies, those who experienced their most severe reaction at a younger age, those who had been treated with epinephrine during the most severe reaction, and those who reported having had confirmatory testing were more likely to have an EAI.

These findings highlight the need for education campaigns and action plans regarding the management of food allergy in school and the workplace, specifically for those who are particularly unlikely to have an EAI, i.e., those who are single, adult, or male. Such strategies should reduce the number of food-allergic individuals without EAIs and decrease the risk of a fatal allergic reaction.


The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is the official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology