Dine Out Stress-Free With Your Epinephrine Auto-Injector

An epinephrine auto-injector is a medical device used to deliver a dose of epinephrine (or adrenaline) to treat a severe allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock. Epinephrine auto-injectors such as the Epipen are carried every day by thousands of adults and children who have severe allergies.

Available by prescription only, each pen-shaped auto-injector contains one dose of medication. The epinephrine medication contained in the injection device is used in emergency situations to treat serious allergic reactions to bee stings, peanuts, and other allergens.

The basics of auto injection

In an emergency situation, the medication is injected into the front of the thigh. Auto-injector devices contain a spring-loaded needle which exists the tip of the device and into the recipient's thigh to deliver the adrenaline. Each device contains a dose of epinephrine, usually containing 0.15mg to 0.5mg. Once activated, the auto-injector must be held against the skin for 10 seconds as the epinephrine is delivered.

How it works

Epinephrine auto-injectors are meant to be used to reverse the effects of a severe allergic reaction. The effects of the medication are rapid. Once injected, the epinephrine reduces the allergic reaction by stimulating the heart, raising dropping blood pressure, alleviating swelling in the face and throat, and improving breathing. Once the initial symptoms of the allergic reaction have subsided, emergency medical treatment should be sought.

An epinephrine auto-injector should not be considered an alternative to seeking immediate medical attention, but as a way to treat the allergic reaction quickly, enabling the recipient to get to a medical center.

Photo: Max Pixel

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