epipen malfunction

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 1:46am
LisaM's picture
Joined: 11/04/2005 - 09:00

My sister needed an epi this weekend, and it failed to inject! Fortunately, I always carry three with me. (I was giving her my epis because she only had a twinject which she didn't know how to use.)

She tried about 3-4 times . . . I feel badly because I figured it was *her* so kept on telling her to push harder. (She didn't know how to use the epi--I gave her instructions. She was hesitant about the whole thing.) She bruises easily, and she got this *huge* bruise on her thigh.

I brought the epi back to the pharmacy. They are going to see if I can get my money back.

I'm surprised . . shocked, actually, that the epi didn't work. I wonder how common that is. In any case, my point is that it is a good idea to carry extras. I do feel I need three---one time in hospital, I required more than one dose. Plus it is good to have a third in case of accidents like this one.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 2:07am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

uh oh......
I do not even want to THINK about this.
My son carries two epi pens. Hopefully ONE of them will work.
Any expired pen we have we practice on an orange and there has never been a malfunction. 17 years of epi pens not one malfunction....
I would be sure the epi pen people follow up on this and tell you WHY this happened.
Refund is nice but a life?

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 2:27am
k9ruby's picture
Joined: 03/25/2004 - 09:00

I keep anywhere between 2 and 4 with me for this exact reason.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 2:54am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

oh wow. I hope your sister is ok now.
Scary the epipen not working. We also carry at least 2 at all times but my reason has always been in case the first wears off before help arrives.
Hmmm- wonder what caused the malfunction??

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:41am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

You need to report this. I don`t know if any of you remember the recall around 1998 or 1999 (Peg-do you remember?) of certain lot numbers of Epipens because there was concern that certain lots would malfunction. Some of ours were in the lot number(s) that got recalled. We had epi jrs at the time, so the recall may have been just Epi juniors, don`t recall. So maybe there is something wrong that they need to do a recall.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:23am
NoPeanutsPlease.com's picture
Joined: 02/22/2007 - 09:00

Scary stuff ... we carry two as well but more for the reason that KRC gave versus having a backup in case one doesn't work. With respect to the current malfunction, please post the results of whatever you find out to this thread. NP.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 6:10am
LisaM's picture
Joined: 11/04/2005 - 09:00

I just figured that the pharmacy would look after it . . .and that the drug company would do the necessary testing and issue a recall if warranted. I'm not all that enthusiastic about pharmaceutical companies, but I do trust them to be vigilant on these sorts of issues.
But after posting today, I thought that maybe I should contact Health Canada. I first called the department that deals with adverse drug reactions . . .they said I should call the "health products and food branch inspectorate." I'm waiting for them to call me back.
I'm not sure whether I should send the epi to health canada (if health canada wants it) or to the drug company. I guess I'll wait until I call the company and until I hear back from Health Canada and then figure it out.
I'll be posting updates!

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 6:18am
LisaM's picture
Joined: 11/04/2005 - 09:00

Peg, I didn't mean to imply that I was only concerned about getting my money back.
krc, my sister is okay now, thanks for asking. The reaction didn't progress past the throat itchiness/ mild throat swelling stage. And her breathing wasn't compromised.
But we weren't too pleased with the service at the ER. she had to wait 45 minutes before she was admitted. And she still had a feeling of throat swelling/itchiness after taking the epi. (What's even worse is the nurse had written down "breathing difficulties" on her chart . . . she didn't have breathing difficulties, but if she had, they should have seen her immediately.)
She reacted to goat cheese (feta)---which makes sense to me because she is allergic to cow's milk. An attendant at the hospital though said that goat cheese is commonly cross contaminated with nuts or contains almond flavouring. I kind of doubt this cheese was----there were very few ingredients. But she is looking into it.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 7:29am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Oh Lisa I knew that. I'm not the sort to jump on you. I would really like though to hear what the manufacturers say.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 7:57am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I am so glad your sister is OK. You were *meant* to be with her at that moment she was having a problem, so your epipen would be there.
Reading this whole thread has convinced me that I should carry epipens from two different batch numbers (I always carry two in case one malfunctions or a second one is needed).

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 8:12am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I remember several years ago--I'm thinking back around 2001 even--someone posted that they were on vacation in a rural area--at a B&B I think--and their first epi malfunctioned. They had called an ambulance, and I can't remember if the ambulance brought epinepherine, but the family had to use the second epi as the first. After reading that, we've always carried at least two with us.


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