Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

Auvi-Q’s Returning to Market With an Innovative New Approach January 23, 2017

Oh, happy day!


Auvi-Q is coming back to market on February 14, 2017!

As many of you already know, Auvi-Q is an innovative, FDA-approved epinephrine auto-injector that is about the size of a deck of cards.  Auvi-Q was invented by twin brothers, Eric and Evan Edwards, who suffered from severe, life-threatening food allergies as children. Eric Edwards, an MD, and Evan Edwards, an engineer, teamed up as adults to invent this unique and effective life-saving device.


This product has a very valuable place on the market:

  • It fits in your pocket – making a great choices for dads, preteens and teens;
  • It speaks the instructions, step-by-step – reducing the worry over training and operation;
  • Auvi-Q’s needle retracts immediately after injection, mitigating the possibility of lacerations and making it safe to handle.


But that’s not even the best part.  Not only are Eric and Evan patients, they’re also food allergy parents who understand the needs of our community from a unique, first-hand perspective.  After speaking to patients and considering their own family’s needs, they wanted to ensure all families had access to and could afford their product.  So they are introducing AffordAbility, a first-of-its-kind program under which the vast majority of patients (including those with high deductibles) can obtain Auvi-Q for $0.  And, not only will the product be free for so many patients, but Auvi-Q will also be available for direct-delivery to your home (in most cases, in less than 48 hours in insulated packaging).


The makers of Auvi-Q, kaléo Pharma, wanted to remove as many of the barriers families face in order to ensure that the patients who needed this life-saving medication would be able to obtain it.  No family should have fear they are unprepared to help in a life-or-death severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis.


The Auvi-Q website is a wealth of information:  Please refer to it for further questions the device, prescription, the AffordAbility program, and direct delivery service.




Your Growing Child: How to Carry Epinephrine August 11, 2015

Filed under: Preparedness,Uncategorized — malawer @ 10:00 am
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As a parent of a food allergic child, you are the person responsible for carrying your son/daughter’s epinephrine and other rescue medication.  As your child ages, however, he will not only go on play dates or attend sports practices and games without you, but she’ll want to go the movies with her friends or walk around the school fair.

My son, who is now 10, has shown a definite preference to carry his own epinephrine in certain situations.  If he’ll be indoors (or it’s cool out), he’ll stick it in his sporty cinch backpack alongside an inhaler and whatever else he brings along that day.  If it’s hot out, we throw the meds in an insulated lunchbox alongside an ice pack or a bottle of ice water and place that inside a cinch bag.

As he grows he may wish to try a few alternatives to remain prepared.  If you’re an adult or teenager with allergies, there are a few convenient ways to wear (yes, wear) epinephrine below.  In fact, I plan to get a few for MYSELF to help him carry his rescue meds while we’re active or on-the-go.

Keeping your or your kids’ rescue meds with them should be easy – no matter which autoinjector you prefer.  Below are some pretty cool and easy ways to carry epinephrine no matter where you go or what you do.  *Just remember, epinephrine needs to be kept at room temperature or below to keep from compromising its potency – see EpiPens in Sun or Snow for further details.*

Auvi-Q Epinephrine Auto-injector Case (Red)

Auvi-Q Autoinjector Case by Rescue Shot Case

  • LegBuddy by OmaxCare

  • Gourmet Getaway Mini Snack Tote

    BuiltNY’s Gourmet Getaway Insulated Lunch Sack

AimTrend All-Purpose Pocket Cinch Drawstring Gym Bag, Lime/Smoke

AimTrend’s Cinch Backpack Gym Bag

Skecher’s Sequin Backpack


Food Allergy Awareness Week: What You Can Do to Educate Others May 13, 2015

Filed under: Preparedness — malawer @ 8:00 pm
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Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Check out my latest post over at ContentChecked for simple, easy things you can do to participate in Food Allergy Awareness Week/Month!

What YOU Can Do to Education Others


Parents of children with food allergies live with certain challenges day in and day out.  We read labels, ask questions, and are prepared for any emergency.  And although we are adept at handling food-related obstacles, that doesn’t mean that the greater community is intentionally setting them up.  In fact, in my experience, most people are well meaning but simply don’t know enough about food allergies.  They want to be helpful, but don’t know how…. read more


Auvi-Q vs. EpiPen: Which Is Best For You? October 4, 2013

Filed under: Preparedness — malawer @ 9:12 am
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As most of you are aware, there are many different types of epinephrine auto-injectors available these days.  Up until recently, EpiPens ruled the marketplace.  But recently, a new product, Auvi-Q, has been getting a lot of buzz.


So, if you’re asked which one you’d like to be prescribed, as I recently was by our allergist, which will you choose?


Here are the pros and cons to both as I see it:



  • Because they dominated the market for so long, EpiPens are recognizable.  In an emergency, that might mean someone who does not have food allergies may know to look for one and may be familiar with what to do with it.
  • They are larger (especially because you’re carrying two of them), ensuring that they are easy to find in a purse or sports bag when seconds count.
  • EpiPens have been in use for a long time, making them tried and tested.
  • Because they are large, EpiPens are hard for men to carry.
  • In a panic, you have to either remember your injection instructions or read them on the outside of the pen itself – something that someone who is frazzled may have trouble concentrating on.


  • There’s no doubt about it, Auvi-Q is sleek and small.  This is likely appealing to teenagers who may be tempted to leave their epinephrine at home.
  • It instructs you!  So, even if you’ve never touched an auto-injector before, chances are you could properly administer epinephrine using the Auvi-Q.
  • It fits in your pocket.  I think this will be very helpful to both adolescents and men.  Women carry bags, so no matter the size of the auto-injector, it likely fits.  But men… well, the “Murse” doesn’t look like it’s really catching on.  Dads can stick the Auvi-Q in their pocket while they’re out on the town with the kids.  My own husband is planning to leave it in his pocket when he coaches my son’s baseball team this weekend.
  • The Auvi-Q is about the size of a cell phone.  Again, this makes it convenient for a pocket, but less so for locating it in a large purse.

So, what do I decide to do?  Well, I chose both!  I want my babysitters and other visitors to my house to have the emergency instinct to go for what they know:  the EpiPens.  But, I love the convenience of carrying the Auvi-Q for my husband, in particular, ensuring that my son’s emergency meds are always on-hand.


Both Auvi-Q and EpiPens have a solid place in the marketplace.  Both administer epinephrine which saves lives!


Which one did you choose?


That’s What Friends Are For September 9, 2013

Filed under: Preparedness,School — malawer @ 9:00 am
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I count my lucky stars for the amazing and supportive friends I’ve made throughout my life.  It’s something I try never to take for granted.  Friendship, as you know, is essential to well-being.  And in my son’s case, it might be critical to it.


Some of his oldest and best supporters were featured alongside him in the Discovery Channel documentary over the weekend. They are constantly making sure their parents have safe snacks for my son during play dates; they are patient and kind when we collectively can’t eat dessert from a particularly enticing menu during family dinners; and they ensure that he feels included when, for example, team snacks aren’t allergy-friendly.


Over the summer, the father of one of his best buddies told me something that almost made me cry with gratitude.  The friend’s parents had spoken to their son about food allergies.  And, as they educated him about food allergies in general and my son’s allergies in particular, they also practiced what he should do in a food allergic emergency.


They taught him the signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives or itching;
  • Coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing;
  • Complaints of an itchy or swollen throat/tongue;
  • Upset stomach;
  • And/or if my son just doesn’t look right after eating something.

They also gave him a plan of action:

  • Tell an adult (preferably my husband or me, but his parents or any other supervising adult would do); and
  • Call 911.

My heart swelled.  I hadn’t asked them to do this.  I hadn’t asked them to have their son safeguard mine.  But that’s what friends do, don’t they:  they look out for one another.  This responsible little guy is now another educated eye on my son when I’m not immediately there — which may be more and more as he grows up.  And that gives me some peace of mind.


Following this conversation, my son and his friend were at dinner with us.  After the bread was delivered to the table, his friend quietly got up from his seat next to my son, walked to the other side of the table and spoke with his father.  As it turned out, he was trying to decide whether he should move seats or forego the bread which was sprinkled with sesame seeds in order to protect my child.  I had (and still have even as I type this) goosebumps at the understanding and thoughtfulness of this fabulous 8 year old.


If you watched “Emerging Epidemic”  you may have noticed how friends and relatives play a crucial role to food allergic children.  The most explicit example came about 20 minutes into the program when Andrew’s story unfolds.  Among the many things we learn about Andrew is that he is surrounded by friends who understand his food allergies.  They are knowledgable about what to do in case of a reaction and are there to help him.


I’ve said it many times, but educating young people about food allergies in general increases social consciousness about this widespread issue.  It not only instills empathy for their food allergic peers whose experiences are different from their own, but it helps them rehearse what to do in case of an emergency when precious seconds count.   With two kids in every classroom with food allergies, this kind of education could save lives.


Epinephrine: How Do You Carry It? March 18, 2013

As parents of kids with food allergies, we are all familiar with EpiPens, spring-loaded epinephrine injectors used in cases of anaphylaxis.   While sometimes considered bulky, they are currently the staple delivery of emergency medicine for severe allergic reactions.

But twin brothers, Evan and Eric Edwards, themselves allergic to food have come up with a new device aimed at making carrying epinephrine more convenient.  After frequently forgetting their EpiPens, the brothers have invented an epinephrine delivery system the size of a smartphone. Called the Auvi-Q, the auto-injector is not only smaller and arguably more portable than the EpiPen but it also boasts automated voice instructions for those who may be too panicked to read written directions.

Do you find this more convenient to carry?  Which device would you use?


Go Out for Date Night! Babysitters for Allergic Kids 101 February 16, 2011

Did Valentine’s Day remind you of how much you enjoy adult time out of the house?!  It did for me!  Sharing alone time with my husband is so important to us.  Being able to carry a small purse (rather than a bulky bag filled with snacks and Matchbox cars) is a joy and staying out until dark sadly feels wild these days!


But going out for the night while leaving food allergic children at home can be stressful.  When it comes to babysitters and keeping your child safe from allergens there are a number of things you can do to minimize your worry and maximize your fun.



  • Next, I would show each babysitter how to use an EpiPen (see and physically point out where you keep it and other emergency medication.  If you’re home is allergen-free you likely have no need to worry, but it’s worth the time to quickly outline the symptoms of an allergic reaction so the sitter knows what to look for and when/how to react.  ***Let them know that if they use the EpiPen, they will need to call 911 immediately —  before even calling you.***


  • Set your food allergy ground rules.  For us, there’s no bringing in any nut, sesame seed or peanut products.  In fact, to be welcoming and avoid the worry of foreign allergens coming in, I always find out what my sitters like to eat and make sure we’re stocked with snacks and/or dinner that are appealing to them.


  • Try to have the kids’ meals prepared so there’s not a lot of guesswork.   If our babysitter is giving our children dinner, for example, I try to have that sitting on a plate ready to microwave or in a tupperware container ready for the oven.  Keeping it simple avoids problems, I’ve learned.


  • Make yourself available.   Supply reachable numbers and encourage each caregiver to use them if they have ANY questions.  None are too trite!


  • Finally, post emergency contact numbers as well as your address on the refrigerator.  Your emergency contacts serve as back up and should be relatively familiar with your child’s allergies and your address could be given to emergency personnel.


You can and should go out once and a while.  It’s a refreshing luxury that we all need to indulge in every so often.  So, call your most trusted sitter and make some plans!