(BPT) – Like many children, Auggie Maturo has a busy schedule. The “Girl Meets World” actor loves acting, playing baseball and the piano and volunteering. He also lives with potentially life-threatening (severe) allergies and has experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis.
His first experience occurred after trying a cashew for the first time at a family gathering. His lips began to swell, his throat began to close and he started to vomit. His parents took him directly to the emergency room, where he was treated and released with a prescription for EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection) Auto-Injector. Then, after a visit with an allergist, they learned that Auggie was allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, sesame and coconut.
“Now, we’re always careful,” says Auggie’s mother, Maha Maturo. “At first it was a challenge, but it’s become a way of life. Because of this experience, we know that life happens, so we are prepared with an anaphylaxis action plan, which includes avoiding known allergic triggers, recognizing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, having access to two EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injectors at all times and seeking immediate emergency medical care should anaphylaxis occur.”
Food allergies – a common cause of anaphylaxis – are on the rise. In fact, up to 43 million Americans may be at risk for anaphylaxis. That’s why Auggie and his parents, along with Chef Amanda Freitag and “Project Runway” judge Nina Garcia, who also have personal stories to share about severe allergies, have joined forces with Mylan to raise awareness about anaphylaxis and the importance of having an action plan through the EpiPen® On Location™ initiative.
As Auggie and Maha get ready for the new school year, Maha discusses the EpiPen® On Location™ initiative and her personal experience managing Auggie’s severe allergies.
Q: Why did you join the EpiPen® On Location™ initiative?
Maha Maturo: We didn’t know a lot about anaphylaxis before Auggie was diagnosed with severe allergies. Since then, we’ve learned the importance of avoiding his allergens, and now that he’s gaining a bit more independence, there’s a whole new level of education going on. We’re talking a lot more about how to make sure he has access to the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, epinephrine, by carrying two EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injectors everywhere he goes. Anaphylaxis awareness and preparedness is what this campaign is all about. We hope sharing our story helps more people understand anaphylaxis and the importance of being prepared should it occur.
Q: What is it like raising a son with life-threatening allergies?
Maha Maturo: Like many children, Auggie has busy days when he’s working hard at school and balancing that with his after-school activities. We talk to others about Auggie’s food allergies, whether we’re going to a friend’s house, a family party or out to dinner. Auggie knows to ask about the ingredients in foods if he isn’t sure if they contain his allergic triggers. Although we can’t control the unpredictable nature of anaphylaxis, we can avoid his allergens.
Q: If there is one message you want to leave people getting ready for the school year with, what would it be?
Maha Maturo: We would like everyone who lives with, or cares for someone with, a severe allergy to think about whether they or their loved one avoid known allergens and has access to epinephrine auto-injectors at all the places they go and at all times. When it comes to anaphylaxis, it’s important to be prepared.
For us, managing food allergies is an everyday thing. We talk as a family about how to make sure Auggie knows the steps of his anaphylaxis action plan and we encourage him to tell others about his food allergies so he can advocate for himself.
Nina Garcia, Amanda Freitag and Auggie Maturo and his parents are paid spokespeople of Mylan.
EpiPen® (epinephrine injection) 0.3 mg and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection) 0.15 mg Auto-Injectors are for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers; and for people who are at increased risk for these reactions. EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® are intended for immediate administration as emergency supportive therapy only. Seek immediate emergency medical help right away.
Important Safety Information
EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you (or your caregiver or others who may be in a position to administer EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®) inject into the middle of your outer thigh (upper leg) (through clothing, if necessary). Get emergency medical help right away. You may need further medical attention. Only a health care professional should give additional doses of epinephrine if you need more than two injections for a single anaphylactic episode. DO NOT INJECT INTO YOUR VEINS, BUTTOCKS, FINGERS, TOES, HANDS OR FEET. In case of accidental injection, please seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you have certain medical conditions such as asthma, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, have any other medical conditions, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Be sure to also tell your doctor all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. If you have certain medical conditions, or take certain medicines, your condition may get worse or you may have longer lasting side effects when you use EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®.
The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea or vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness, shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness or anxiety. These side effects may go away if you rest. Tell your health care professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
For additional information, please contact us at 800-395-3376.
EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® are registered trademarks of Mylan Inc. licensed exclusively to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mylan Specialty L.P. LIFE HAPPENS. Be Prepared.® is a registered trademark of Mylan Inc. ON LOCATION™ is a trademark of Mylan Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
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