Epi Pen Jr. Questions

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So, I had an unnerving experience at the pharmacy today... I was told that they couldn't refill my prescription for the 2 Epi Pen Jrs. that expire *this* month (March) because there is a regional shortage & they are all on back order. They have called the supplier who has *no* idea when the next shipment will arrive.

I am not completely panicked because we have others that expire in June, so we have some coverage. But I had a plan in place where 2 Epi Pens were at school, 2 were in the 'Epi Bag' the always goes with my daughter on outings, 1 is at home & 1 is in my purse. (Oh, and all 6 would be on the plane with us as we take our first trip in years over Spring Break at Easter-time.) And now I have to come up with a plan that I am compfortable with that has only 4 Epi Pens. So, here is my question: I have heard people talk about the Epi Pen not working on occasion... what happens when it doesn't work & how often has that happened to people? Its failure rate will factor into the plan I put together.

Many thanks for your help on this.

On Mar 25, 2000

Can't help you with the malfunction question, but a couple of factors to consider in making your plan.

Not sure which pharmacy you use, but if it's a national chain (like Wal-mart, CVS, etc.), would they be willing to call a store in another region to see if they could get the pens?

Also, you don't say where you're going on your trip. In our area (Tennessee), all emergency medical personnel carry epinephrine. They would not even use your Epi-pen, but would give injections from their own supply. (Obviously, you want to be able to give the Epi while you're waiting for them to arrive, but they would take care of any additional injections.) You might want to check out the policies wherever you're travelling.

On Mar 27, 2000

Something to keep in mind. They aren't going to work on March 31st and not on April 1st just because they expire in the end of March. The allergist told us several months ago that we would be better off using one that was expired than non at all. Especially if you were planning on bringing six on your trip, it probably would be OK to bring the two with you that are expired as an extra back-up. Talk to your allergist or pediatrician to see how long they think they will be good for. Also, have you tried one of the online pharmacies?

I would also call another pharmacy and find out if they have one. The first one might have been wrong about the "regional" shortage. Or you might want to check with Dey labs to find out if it is really true.

The two times we had problems were actually with the people at the daycare. The first time a teacher got it in her finger by accident. The second time, a teacher thought it wasn't working, grabbed the back-up one, and realized after the fact she just wasn't pushing hard enough the first time.

On Mar 27, 2000

I am also having this problem. I requested my pharmacist get me long shelf life pens, but got call back there weren't any available. They kept backordering for 2 weeks, but not available from distributor. They called Dey and the answer was that they would be producing another run of epe pen jrs. - soon. the target date given was 3/27/2000. Well, called this a.m. and not available. They do have the regular epi pens, just not the jr's. I am not too happy with this situation. Has anyone talked to DEY recently? There is no second source supplier on this item. (surely epinephrine is a generic drug- it's the pens that must be patented???)

On Apr 5, 2000

Shop around! the on-line thing works too. ok, epi pens past their dates still work they simply not as effective. This means that instead of getting 20 mintues worth of effect you may only get 10. Take them all with you. Prepare you plans well for your trip. Find out about emts there, where the hospitals are, and have a copy of you prescription too. Wouldn't it be great if you could buy them on vacation?

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