Epi-Pens Nearing Expiry

Posted on: Sat, 10/21/2000 - 3:20am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

The Epi-pen in my purse has an expiry date of 11/00. Yesterday, I went in to pick up one of two that I have on order. The pharmacist there told me that you're able to tell when an Epi-pen is getting old because where the casing part is clear, it starts to turn yellowish. He showed me this on the soon-to-expire Epi-pen, and sure enough, it was starting to turn yellowish in colour rather than clear. My original ? to them was when the expiry said 11/00 did that mean the end of November or the beginning. At any rate, after giving me the new one, with an expiry 1-1/2 years from now, the pharmacist advised that I use the soon-to-expire one AFTER the new one, if need be, because of the casing starting to turn yellow, until I get my 2nd one that the pharmacy is waiting to come in. I thought maybe everyone would like to check theirs to see if they understand what the pharmacist was talking about. I thought this was really helpful. Best wishes [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]


Posted on: Sat, 10/21/2000 - 4:02am
redtruck's picture
Joined: 01/23/2000 - 09:00

What happens if you need to use one that is expired? Will it be effective? Will it harm anyone? We have at least four that just expired in Sept. (and have since replaced them, and was going to use the old ones for practice).

Posted on: Sat, 10/21/2000 - 10:43am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cindy, I was told by my pharmasict that if the clear turns pinkish before expirey that this means it no longer any good. I would not use an expired pen ever. If the due date is 11/00 as one of the ones I have I will no longer use it as of the first of Nov.
I have never asked just my gut feeling. Easy for me to say though my drug plan pays for them, so the cost isn't a factor for me to use up the last possible moment. Good Luck.
Redtruck, I was thinking the same thing about using old ones for practice, actually to teach our Sunday School teachers the proper way.
Take Care of yourselves!! Jen

Posted on: Sat, 10/21/2000 - 12:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Oh no, I would NEVER use an expired Epi-pen. What the pharmacist meant, when I left there yesterday, 10/20/0 that if I had to use the two Epi-pens before I got my second new one on probably Monday, to use the new one with the expiry date a year and a half from now and then if I had to use the second one 20 minutes later while waiting for the ambulance to use the 11/00 expiry date one. He also said that as soon as I got my 2nd one to consider my other one no longer any good, which was what I was going to do. I have to ask at Jesse's school if they have had Epi-pen training or not, and if they haven't then I'll take the expired one in for training. Also, this may be hard to believe, but I've never tried to use one myself ever so I could use that expired one for training myself! I'm not sure if my wording wasn't clear but I didn't mean in any way that people should consider using an expired Epi-pen. I just found it interesting that the one that really isn't due to expire for another two weeks is showing obvious signs of age already. With my new ones I'm getting, I'm going to try to remember to see when the casing starts turning yellow, meaning that they're aging, whether it's a month or what before the expiry date. I guess he was basically saying that even though the expiry date was 11/00, my Epi-pen was showing signs of age and wouldn't be as effective as one with a later expiry date. Actually, when I think of that, it kinda ticks me off. I was very fortunate that this pharmacist even mentioned it to me. No, he just meant that should I have to use one over the week-end, to use the newer one first and then the yellowed casing one, expiring 11/00, second, if need be. Somehow I haven't worded this correctly, but it is almost a warning of sorts. I hope this clarifies what I meant by my original posting anyway. Also, Redtruck, I would definitely consider your September ones no good except for training (not that training is "no good"). I guess the whole thing is,if say you're carrying two with you at all times is to use the one with the furthest expiry date away first and then the next one if you have to. Also, Fed Up!, I had asked two different pharmacists what they considered the expiry date to be when it simply says 11/00 - did it mean the end of November or the beginning? I first asked the doctor and he didn't know, he told me to ask the pharmacist. I consider them expired, as you would do at the beginning of November. Again, he just meant if push came to shove over the week-end before I got my second pen to use the 11/00 one second and the new one first to ensure effectiveness. Now, I have to check with Jesse's school and get the expiry dates of both of the pens there too so I can get new ones say a month at least in advance of the expiry date. I wish I knew when this 11/00 one had started to turn yellow, but as I said above, I'll try to keep my eye on the next ones. I've just been fortunate, they're always in the bottom of my purse and I never even look at them! Also, this is a separate rant, but on the topic of Epi-pens, can you believe that a supposedly VERY close relative of my PA son's actually had the nerve to say that having 4 Epi-pens at $89.00 each every year and a half was a lot of money! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] This, from someone that well knows the Epi-pen means the difference between life and death for him. "Oh, you better have a good drug plan...." Sorry, I'd quit smoking first! Duh! I can't even believe those words came out of her mouth but they did. It was unreal and also another reason why I'll never be given one of those bonking wands that someone mentioned on another thread, because, I'm sorry, I would have bonked her out, got her on the bus, and she would have stayed bonked out all the way to Toronto 2 hours away! Best wishes!
[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited October 21, 2000).]
[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited October 21, 2000).]

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 7:02am
Mom of Wonderful PA boy's picture
Joined: 10/08/2000 - 09:00

In response to the expiry date...Nov 00 or 11/00 means at the end of the November of 2000. Medication expiry dates always mean at the end of the month indicated.
[This message has been edited by Mom of Wonderful PA boy (edited October 27, 2000).]

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 8:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Mom of Wonderful PA Boy, thank-you for your post. The doctor, nurse and pharmacist were not clear. However, this pen does expire 11/00 and it is showing the signs of age that I originally started this thread about. So, for this reason, and also including what the pharmacist said, to use my new one first if I had to and the near expiring one as back-up, I will consider it expired at the 1st of November but simply because it is showing the signs of aging and I'm afraid that it will not be as effective. Had it not been showing the signs of aging, I would have appreciated your information very much and considered it valid until the end of November. Thank-you. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 11:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I have one that also expires 11/00. I looked very closely at the Epi and did not notice any signs of aging that you talked about. Even my husband examined it...we are planning to replace it anyway and will use it on an orange.

Posted on: Mon, 10/30/2000 - 9:52am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Everyone - there was a study done this year regarding the use of expired EpiPens. This was covered at the FAN Conference in June 2000. The exact wording of the study follows, along with the names of the researcher/doctors involved, plus the year of the study and the location:
"There is reduction in potency for expired EpiPens, but they still retain enough potency that an expired one should be used if no other one is available. The study did not specifically address the use of an EpiPen if the liquid is discolored."
Simons, Gu, MacNair, Semus, Simons JACI 2000 Canada
With thanks to carrie for forwarding this and other information from the FAN (Food Allergy Network) Conference in New York.

Posted on: Wed, 11/01/2000 - 1:17am
Nick's picture
Joined: 11/01/2000 - 09:00

NEVER, EVER, use an EpiPen when you don't need to. Never use an expired one or one which has "discoloured".
If you think people may need to use one for practice, "trainers" without needle or drug are available from the manufacturers "ALK ABELLO" for a small cost (

Posted on: Wed, 11/01/2000 - 2:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Nick, I know that there are Epi-pen trainer kits available. Why do you advise against using an expired one for training? I know that it is a drug that we would be putting into the orange, but I'm also fairly sure that all of us would safely dispose of said orange. I was thinking about this to-day because I have one that I consider expired to-day and my immediate reaction is to throw it out and I remembered that I had wanted to keep it for training. I also asked my son, nearly 5, if he wanted to watch me when I did try it out. I'm sorry, I'm just not clear, aside from safety issues, why you would advise against this. Is it because we would not, as individual people have safe disposal practices for the sharps? Please let me know your thoughts as I found this quite interesting and I know quite a few other people that have done this in the past. See, for me, I haven't done it before and I haven't given my son the Epi-pen before so I felt I really NEEDED to do it and why buy a trainer when you have an expired pen? Thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 11/01/2000 - 5:28am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cindy...(I think you started this thread?) Anyways, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I read this thread and thought, "Gee, I haven't ever checked my son's epi-pen dates." They expired in April 2000! I felt so bad that I would've used an old epi on him (and I almost did about a month ago). But thanks to you, I got 2 new ones.
Thanks again! Colleen


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