BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Jerome Bettis and Robin Miller are teaming up with Sanofi US to raise awareness of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and spread the word that Auvi-Q ™ (epinephrine injection, USP) is now available by prescription in pharmacies nationwide. Bettis, who is allergic to shellfish, and Miller, who is allergic to eggs, hope to help educate adults and caregivers of children at risk for severe allergic reactions.
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"My mantra is 'the best defense is a good offense,' so when I found out about Auvi-Q, I wanted to make sure that people with severe, life-threatening allergies like me know their 'plays' – namely, avoid your allergens and always carry an epinephrine auto-injector just in case of accidental exposure," said Bettis. "Auvi-Q fits easily into my pocket, and I can take it with me wherever I go."
"I'm allergic to peanuts and shellfish, so it's crucial for me to always carry an epinephrine auto-injector and know how to respond quickly in an emergency," said Dr. Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, a pediatric allergist, national expert in anaphylaxis and consultant to Sanofi US. "My nephew is also at risk for anaphylaxis and I know the feeling of panic that can happen when an allergic reaction begins. As much as I always want to be by his side with an epinephrine auto-injector close at hand, I know I can't. I have to rely on others to be able to administer it to him, if necessary. The availability of Auvi-Q is great news for adults and caregivers of children at risk for anaphylaxis."Auvi-Q is the first-and-only epinephrine auto-injector with audio and visual cues for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions in people who are at risk for or have a history of anaphylaxis. The size and shape of a credit card and the thickness of a smart phone, Auvi-Q is a breakthrough in epinephrine auto-injector design that talks patients and caregivers step-by-step through the injection process. Bettis and Miller are among the up to six million Americans who may be at risk for anaphylaxis, although the precise incidence is unknown and likely underreported. Food is the most commonly identified anaphylaxis trigger and accounts for 30 percent of all anaphylaxis fatalities. It is estimated that an emergency room visit caused by food-related anaphylaxis occurs in the United States about every 18 minutes. While guidelines emphasize the importance of the life-saving role of epinephrine, two large surveys (n= 600 and n=651) show that two-thirds of patients and caregivers do not carry their epinephrine auto-injectors as recommended, and nearly half worry that others will not know how to use their or their child's epinephrine auto-injector correctly during an emergency. Multiple studies have found an association between delay in epinephrine administration and death from anaphylaxis. Life-threatening allergic reactions may occur as a result of exposure to allergens including foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, soy and wheat; insect stings; latex and medication, among other allergens and causes. Serious allergic reactions can be unexpected. In fact, most allergic reactions to foods occur to items that were thought to be safe, and an insect sting is unpredictable. So, it's important to always be prepared. Jerome Bettis' and Robin Miller's Tips for Big Game Party Hosts "Jerome and I enjoy Big Game parties, but they can be stressful for those of us, young and old, with food allergies," said Miller. "Even the smallest amount of an ingredient or cross-contamination in food can trigger a severe allergic reaction. That's why avoidance is key. To keep the stress on the game and not on the party, I'm sharing some of my favorite, allergy-friendly recipes that are delicious and easy to prepare, so we can all enjoy the Big Game!"