Epinephrine Nose Spray for Anaphylaxis?!
Oh yeah, sign me up!
Like many of my colleagues, I am a self-proclaimed Asthma Nerd. So, I follow all of the national asthma associations on social media. I was excited to see a post from Allergy & Asthma Network about a new epinephrine nasal spray that is being "fast-tracked" by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration.)
The FDA will "fast track" a drug to:
"....facilitate the development, and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. The purpose is to get important new drugs to the patient earlier."
Yes, please do!
An "unmet medical need" can be:
"....providing a therapy which may be potentially better than available therapy."
INSYS Therapeutics is developing the nasal spray. A physician who served on the advisory board, Dr. David Fleischer, is from the Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado School of Medicine. He says,
"Because epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, having other effective delivery options, such as a needleless alternative, may be attractive to patients and healthcare providers, as well as parents, school nurses, first responders and emergency department staff.1"
You can say that again! I would rather use a nose spray any day, rather than use an epinephrine auto-injector when I have anaphylaxis. But that's just my opinion!
Allergies and asthma
The majority of people with asthma also have allergies. In fact, 75% of adults have allergies & asthma. And 60% - 80% of children have allergies & asthma.
My 3 kids and I all have multiple environmental allergies (trees, bushes, flowers, grass, cats, dogs, etc). But I also have a seafood allergy (to ALL seafood, not just shellfish). And Middle Son has a tree nut allergy (not to be confused with a peanut - which is an legume, not a nut.)
Both my son and I have had several accidental exposures to seafood and tree nuts and have had severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
And it scares me every time it happens!
I carry 2 epinephrine auto-injectors wherever I go. I have stressed the importance to Middle Son to ALWAYS have his backpack and epinephrine auto-injectors with him, but.....you know how kids can be. And this son is in college, so he should KNOW better!
He finally realized how serious it was when he had another accidental exposure. (And each reaction is getting worse!)
He had eaten at a restaurant and had 4 cheese pasta (that should be safe, right?) Well, it was when he ate it that night. But, something happened when his server was boxing up his leftovers. When he warmed up the leftovers a few nights later, he bit into something hard. He brought the takeout box to me and asked me what was that curly shape in the bottom of the box? It was a cashew!
How does a cashew (a tree nut) get into 4 cheese pasta?!
Luckily, he just bit into it - then immediately spit it back out. He didn't swallow it, but it was still enough to start an allergic reaction. And he was scared.
I wonder if he would be more willing to use a nose spray for anaphylaxis, instead of an epinephrine auto-injector?
Some people don't mind using the epinephrine auto-injectors, it's just part of their life and they take them everywhere they go. But if there's another option for those who aren't comfortable using needles, bring it on!
And thank you to all of the researchers who are finding new options for those of us with allergies and asthma!
Have you developed a new food allergy in the last 5 years?