Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Addison's Emergency Injection Kit - DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!

Explanation of Adrenal Crisis - on, you will need to sign up for a FREE account to view this EXCELLENT explanation of an Adrenal Crisis. You need an emergency injection kit to pull you out an Adrenal Crisis.

Who needs an injection kit?
  • ANYONE who has been diagnosed with Addison's disease. If your doctor says you don't need an injection kit, he is sadly, sadly mistaken. Most ambulances DO NOT carry Hydrocortisone and/or will make you wait until you get admitted to the Emergency Room to be injected. Check with your local ambulance crew to see if they carry and will administer Hydrocortisone. Idaho, Montana, Utah and Colorado are a few states that do not carry or administer Hydrocortisone to Addisonian's in crisis.
  • Emergency Medical Response by state, complements of CARES
Why does a person need an injection kit?
  • Vomiting - vomiting more than twice is cause for an injection. Dehydration is dangerous for Addisonian's.
  • Accidents - see above.
  • Back country travel - often if you are hiking or biking in the back country, transportation to medical services is a long, long way away.
  • Foreign travel - you need to be prepared if you are in a foreign country. You need to be responsible for your own health at all times especially if you're in a foreign country.
What is in an injection kit?
  • A basic kit could contain the following
    • A needle (I've got a 21 Gauge 1 inch - your doctor can recommend the best needle for you
    • 250 mg Solucortef (I've got 250 mg because I am often far from medical help and my doctor thought that would be a better choice for my circumstances). I keep mine in its original box
    • Alcohol swabs - inexpensive and can be purchased from pharmacy
    • Instructions on how to give an emergency injection sealed in a zip-loc bag
    • MedicAlert card
    • Addison's crisis emergency protocol
    • A letter from my doctor that says: "This is a letter stating that (YOUR NAME HERE) (Date of Birth HERE) is a patient of mine who has Addison's disease. She must carry in her possession a supply of Solu-Cortef and syringes while traveling. Please accommodate her in this regard."
    • Peptobismol, Hydrocortisone pills, salt pills (all optional but I like to carry them with me)
  • These are the contents of my basic emergency kit

A close up of the Solu-Cortef

This is what my basic kit looks like all wrapped up in a snack size zip-loc bag (6.5 inches x 3.5 inches and 2 ounces)

  • The deluxe kit could contain
    • All of the above items
    • Rubber gloves, plastic wrap and a trash bag
    • Mole skin, minipads, various bandaids, athletic tape & toilet paper
    • Tweezers, safety pins, razor
    • A light source, matches and lighter
    • Pills: Immodium, Hydrocortisone, Zofran, pain killers
    • Sunscreen stick
All the junk in the deluxe kit

Deluxe kit all packed up. 7 inches x 4.5 inches x 1.5 inches and 8 ounces

Last but not least the MedicAlert bracelet
  • All Addisonian's need a MedicAlert bracelet (or similar). I've been told the necklaces are not a good idea because if you are laying on your back, the pendant slides around to the back and can be undetected by emergency crews
Both of these pendants were ordered from MedicAlert. I sewed the pendant on a watch band (above) because the "active band" from MedicAlert has a clasp that opens easily when you're being active. I also put the pendant on the second one because I liked my beads better than the MedicAlert choices.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the excellent information! Bet

Anonymous said...

My doctor has told me that emergency injections do not exist! for Addison's disease - I know they do and he has asked me to send him information about this, it is very worrying that i am without them still. Thank you for all the information you have supplied, it is much appreciated.

Unknown said...

Hi Anonymous!

Download the Addison's Owner's Manual (Pages 19 & 20 regarding emergency) and print a copy for yourself and one for your doctor. Your doctor is really misinformed and that could be dangerous for you. If your doc is not willing to give you a script for an Acto-Vial of Solucortef and needles, find a new doctor because this one does not have your best interests or health at heart.

Please check out my forum and ask any questions you might have: www

Anonymous said...

Hi Dusty,
I have printed all the information on emergency injections for my doctor and took it to him today. He is arranging for me to pick up the prescription in a day or two. The nurse at the practice is going to show me how to inject myself.
So thank you for all your help and advice. Kind regards, Laraine

Unknown said...


What a relief for you to get an injection kit! I hope you never need it!

Come visit us at my forum.

Anonymous said...

I had to jump through some ridiculous hoops to get my Rx for the IM Solu-Cortef, including having to drive 45 minutes away to have a nurse teach my husband and I how to "correctly" inject in an emergency. Needless to say, we jumped, and now have our emergency injection.

maryellen said...

I read that you have written a sample prescription for doctors. My Dr. Is willing but is confused about actually writing it

Unknown said...

Mary Ellen,

Just print out this picture and ask for 23 G needles (depending on your state, you might need a script for this).

Ask for 100 mg Solu-Cortef Actovial.

While you're there, ask for Zofran or the generic of Zofran as well. Zofran can go a long way in preventing the need for a shot.


Kevin S. said...

I am 26 years old and was diagnosed with Addison's when I was only 1 year old. My brother has it as well. My mother is a nurse and not a single one of our doctors has ever mentioned this kit. I have probably had 6 Addissonian Crisis's in my life (mostly as a growing teen) and will finally be getting an emergency kit for my brother and I. THANK YOU!!

Unknown said...


Did you end up getting a kit? I'd love it if you come over to the forum and share your quarter century of Addison's experiences!


Amy Z said...

Hi Kevin,
I was just wondering if you and your brother have primary Addisons? I have two daughters (almost 7 and 2) that were both born with it. I haven't come across many siblings with AI. My daughter's endo does refer to two brothers now In their 20's with AI. We are in Orlando. Thought maybe it was you he was talking about. If not, funny coincidence.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dusty, My daughter was recently diagnosed with Addison's and Hashimoto's. It took 10 months for a diagnosis. She is a college athlete distance runner. I am trying to learn as much as possible and encourage her to remain positive. Thank you for this blog. I hope to be able to use the information and advice for a better way of life with Addison's. First question, can she take Midol? RH Mom

Unknown said...

Dear Anonymous mom,

Most likely Midol is safe but I'd ask her physician. Needing Midol is a sign that her thyroid is probably terribly off. In addition, lack of progesterone (produced in the adrenals as well as ovaries) can cause menstrual problems.

Come join us or, better yet, have your daughter join us on the forum so we can help you more.



Anonymous said...

Dusty: Thanks so much! I will encourage her to join the forum. RH Mom

Anonymous said...

Until latest Endo, have encountered a lot of resistance from doctors here in US prescribing this, my Aunt in UK has Addison's also and they gave her one right away, in USA I have been told by multiple endocrinologists that they just don't do that here, you won't be able to use it etc etc.

Unknown said...

Hi Anonymous! Thank you for your comment. We have a great journal article on the forum that can help persuade your doctor to give you life saving injection kit.


Anonymous said...

I find that hard to believe. My Drs are eager for me to carry the emergency kits... my pharmacist helped me assemble five kits,,one in each in my purse, one at work and one pinned to the kitchen wall near the car keys.. so I have one in reach at all times...I do not have additions, I have primary pituitary insufficiency..which mean all my hormones are not flowing..bc my pituitary has been.."squished" from cerebrospinal fluid from a TBI when i was 22..i hemorrhaged in giving birth with my first son..and that sealed my pituitary's i am on thyroid, ACTH, and androgen support... it is imperative that anyone who take oral cortisone..has access to a shot...even with all I have shared..I have gone to level 1 trauma ER and they have been clueless to what my medic bracelet says...and how serious my condition it is vital that everyone research their particular situation and take responsibility for it. Many time you may need to educate a medical to care for you... it gets tough emotionally at live..its what we must do!

I hope for good health for you all!

Anonymous said...

I am shocked that so many people have had such a hard time getting the emergency injection. I'm in the US and my doctor wrote me a prescription for it right away. He also told me to get two, one to take with me everywhere and one to keep safe at home as a backup.

I did have a hard time finding a pharmacy that could/would fill the prescription though. Many didn't want to order it because apparently you can't just order one or two vials, you have to order a box of many (30 something? It's been a while).

I finally found the one pharmacy in town that had some and said they would keep them in stock for me. I hope they do, but I'm not sure if they will if I only come in every two years when the vials I have expire. Unless I get sick or something and use them up, but obviously I don't want that to happen. Anyway, if they don't have it one day, I'll have to search around for somewhere else that has it. Ugh.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info. My doc didn't cover 1/2 of what you did right here. I am just putting mine together.