Honeybees, yellow jackets and stinging ants…oh my!
Most people stung or bitten by an insect may experience swelling, pain and redness that may persist for up to a week and usually gets better without treatment. However, some individuals can develop a potentially life-threatening (severe) allergy to insect stings or bites—even after being stung or bitten several times before without a problem.
If you have a stinging or biting insect allergy, consider taking these precautions:
- When you go outside, avoid wearing brightly colored clothing or using sweet-smelling lotions, perfumes and shampoos
- Always wear shoes
- If you’re eating, keep your food and trash tightly sealed
- If your activity might expose you to insects or their nests (gardening or hiking, for instance), wear pants and long-sleeved shirts
Avoid what you can.
Although you try, not all stings and bites can be avoided, so those with potentially life-threatening allergies to bee venom, wasp venom or fire ant venom should have access to two epinephrine auto-injectors, such as EpiPen® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injector or its authorized generic, particularly when outdoors.
Treating insect allergies
People with insect allergies can be treated with standardized insect injections (immunotherapy), which may provide long-term protection against insect stings. However, not everyone treated this way remains tolerant to insect stings or bites for life. You may still need to carry EpiPen 2-Pak® or EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® (or their authorized generics).
In case of anaphylaxis triggered by insect bites or stings, administer EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injector or their authorized generics immediately and seek emergency medical care.