Unfortunately, the only "treatment" for a latex allergy is avoidance of all latex products. Antihistamines can be used to
help lessen a reaction but they will not prevent it. Steroids are often administered for thirty-six hours after and exposure
reaction to protect from further reactions. Epinephrine can also be used to stop the reaction. It is available in a self
injection called an "Epipen". The question then becomes, "When do I use it at home?" According to Asthma and Allergy Information
and Research, there are some guidlines you can follow:
When should I inject adrenaline (epinephrine)?
Some specialists say you should inject adrenaline (epinephrine) for any reaction. We don't agree.
Our recommendation is the:
1. Definite reaction: evidence of a reaction should be obvious.
2. Deterioration: the aim is to inject BEFORE life is in immediate danger. If the reaction is improving by the time you
get the adrenaline (epinephrine), just keep the adrenaline (epinephrine) handy for six hours in case it gets worse again.
3. Death seems any sort of possibility if the deterioration continues another 5 to 10 minutes.
Only two things cause death: the '2D' RULE
1. Difficult breathing whether due to swelling in the throat or to asthma. If it really seems to be just asthma, an asthma
inhaler may work. But adrenaline (epinephrine) will help in both asthma and throat swelling.
2. Deteriorating consciousness: once the child or adult patient is unconscious, life is in danger, if only from inhaling
vomit, quite likely in a food allergy reaction. Make sure you know the 'recovery position' known to every competent first-aider.
But give adrenaline (epinephrine) to prevent unconsciousness if that seems increasingly possible.
Finally, the '1D' RULE
* Do give adrenaline (epinephrine) if in doubt! If you think there may be any risk to life because of difficulty in breathing
or because it seems possible the patient is beginning to feel faint or 'pass out', then the earlier you give the adrenaline
(epinephrine), the better it will work.
It is important to remember that this is a recommendation. The final plan should be discussed with the individual physician.
Even if epinephrine is administered, if a person suffers from difficulty breathing, throat swelling, or tongue swelling, he
should seek medical attention. He should consider calling an ambulance if the medications are unsuccessful, as they will
have the equipment to assist him in the event that respiratory or cardiac arrest should occur.
Asthma & Allergy Information & Research