Sulfite Allergy and Epi-Pen

Question: If I Have an Allergy to Sulfites, Can I Use an Epi-Pen?

Answer: Absolutely, though this may seem confusing to most people with an allergy to sulfites.

It may seem logical to avoid using an Epi-Pen or Twin-Ject, since these devices contain sulfites that preserve the epinephrine and prevent browning. You may ask, “Why would I give myself a shot of something that I’m allergic to when I’m already experiencing an allergic emergency?” But epinephrine has not been reported to cause adverse reactions in people with sulfite allergy, and should not be withheld in an allergic emergency.

Injectable epinephrine may prove life saving in people with sulfite allergy who are experiencing anaphylaxis. People with sulfite allergy should avoid medications containing sulfites, with the exception of injectable epinephrine.

Learn more about sulfite allergy.


Bush RK, Taylor SL, Hefle SL. Adverse Reactions to Food and Drug Additives. In: Adkinson NF, Yunginger JW, Busse WW, et al, eds. Middleton’s Allergy Principles and Practice. 6th edition. Philadelphia: Mosby Publishing; 2003:1645-1663.

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