Alcohol and Allergy

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Top Tips

  1. Always take your EpiPen® or Anapen® adrenaline injector with you, regardless of whether you are planning to eat or drink or not.
  2. Tell a non-drinking friend about your allergy, and what to do if you have an allergic reaction.
  3. Drinking too much can confuse you and those around you.

Alcohol can affect your judgement, resulting in risky behaviour.

Risky behaviour while drunk:

  • Eating foods without labels.
  • Not asking about ingredients.
  • Not knowing where your adrenaline injector is.
  • Sharing drinks, straws or cutlery.
  • Kissing people who may have eaten a food you’re allergic to.

Symptoms of drunkenness like vomiting, confusion, dizziness or collapse can be similar to an allergic reaction including anaphylaxis. People may think you have collapsed due to drinking rather than an allergic reaction.

A guide to drinking smart

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  • Ask yourself – does this drink contain anything I might be allergic to? Some liqueurs contain nuts and milk (dairy), beers can contain wheat and nuts, and wines may have sulphites, eggs, milk (dairy) or even fish in them.
  • Read labels and check ingredients of mixed drinks or cocktails. Mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) can also contain allergens, so it is important to check the ingredients.
  • Eat before you drink and remember to drink plenty of water too.
  • Ask a non-drinking friend to look out for you. Tell them what to look out for and how to help.
  • Show them how to use your EpiPen® or Anapen® and where to find the emergency instructions on your ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.

Content Updated: Sep 2022