The first anaphylactic reaction my son had, we did not have epinephrine. I had suspected food allergies, but our physician at the time said that was highly unlikely despite signs. Thankfully I have always kept liquid Benadryl at home and we were at home when the reaction happened. I administered liquid Benadryl to my son as I was on the phone with 911 and waiting for the ambulance. The Benadryl slowed the reaction until more assistance could be provided.
Liquid Benadryl is always the preferred form of Benadryl, however a bottle of Benadryl is not convenient to carry around. I usually try to purchase dye free, but when the store is out and we are in need, Benadryl is Benadryl. Throughout our 15 years managing severe allergies and interacting with those familiar with them, no one had ever suggested what I learned at the canine first aid course.
Up until now the options as I knew them were a) a bottle of liquid Benadryl, b) Benadryl fast melts or c) rapid melt strips that dissolve rapidly in the mouth. A is the preferred method, but bulky to carry around. The problem with b is the rapid melt strips packaging is difficult to open without scissors so we also carried child size scissors with us. The issue with option c was the rapid melts crush easily, they are often crushed in day to day transport (as you can see in the above image) and people tend to try to push them through the packaging to open them which further crushes them.
Option A is awkward, especially for men and kids to carry themselves. It's hard enough to get them to carry their epinephrine (which you should always have double of as one may only work in the body for 15 minutes) and inhaler.
Options B and C above are not recommended for dogs as their saliva has a different ph level which would affect the dissolving of those products.
The canine first aid class recommended carrying Benadryl Liquid-Gels instead. You do not give the entire capsule to the dog. What you do is use a pin to puncture the capsule and squirt the liquid from the capsule into the dogs mouth. This could be applied to humans too.
They suggested taping a safety pin to the back of the capsule packaging so everything is right there if needed.
So I immediately put Liquid-Gels on my shopping list. Today I picked some up.
I cut the sleeves into sections and taped a safety pin to the back of each emergency pack. When taping them to the back, tape the back side of the safety pin so the part you are sticking into the capsule is not sticky.
I then taped a Benadryl liquid-cap/safety pin pack to each of my children's epinephrines. One child also has been prescribed Pepcid for allergic reaction to slow digestion of the allergen. I would consult your doctor, before deciding if that's right for your situation.
Which would you rather carry, the large bottle of Benadryl or a couple of Liquid-Caps with a safety pin on the back?