Epinephrine Storage and mail order pharmacies

Posted on: Sun, 08/30/2015 - 1:18pm
Cure's picture
Joined: 02/04/2015 - 20:38

I am a mom with a 13 year old boy, who has had severe peanut/nut allergies since he was 2 years. We live in the desert where temperatures are easily over 100 degrees for several months, and take great care to maintain the epinephrine (we have both the Epipen and Auvi-Q) at the recommended temperatures (66-77 degrees). In error our allergist sent the prescription refill to our mail order pharmacy and I was shocked to find my refill stuffed into a hot mail box when it is at the hottest right now. We normally purchase though local pharmacy to avoid them sitting in a hot mail truck and then our mailbox. I'm curious how others handle this, and in maintaining safe them safely? Also does anyone know if the exposer to the heat or the cold lessens the effectiveness of the medicine or makes the medicine 'spoiled'. We keep old Epipens in our hot garage to train school staff, and in all the years I have yet to see one change color. Concerned that huge mail order pharmacy would think it is ok to charge me and send me medicine that I feel is not usable. Thoughts welcomed. Thank you.

Posted on: Thu, 09/03/2015 - 8:37am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Thank you for reaching out to our community with your concern.
Epinephrine auto-injectors are a vital part of the peanut allergy lifestyle. It’s very important to have one close to you at all times. If you cannot access the EpiPen while having an anaphylactic reaction, you will be unable to administer proper treatment - you can read more about treating anaphylaxis here. That being said, many people are not aware that the EpiPen does require maintenance to ensure it functions properly.
EpiPens must be kept within certain temperatures and certain dates to guarantee effectiveness. If an injector is expired, damaged, or exposed to extreme temperatures, it is not recommended for use and you should seek a replacement immediately. You can read more about further ensuring effectiveness of your epinephrine injector here.
Keeping your EpiPen the proper temperature can be difficult, as this community post discusses. To ensure that your EpiPen is not exposed to the varying climate changes and hazards of the outdoors, it is essential to keep it stored somewhere that will stay close to room temperature. According to the EpiPen website, the ideal range is between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. There are insulated bags and wallets available online which will keep items cool even while outdoors. It also may be helpful to look for temperature-controlled bags that are meant to store insulin, which also needs to be kept at room temperature.
Although using an insulated, temperature-controlled bag for your epinephrine would be ideal, another solution is to place the injector near items which will keep it cooled down, such as a refrigerated ice pack or bottle. It is important that the EpiPen not be in direct contact with these items, though, to ensure that the EpiPen stays within the proper range. It is important to also use a bag or container that will not be contaminated by sand or other elements.
In this case, we advise that you not rely on your overheated EpiPens. Although they may not be completely spoiled, there is a good chance that they are less effective after this exposure to heat, and it is simply not worth the risk.
We reached out to our Facebook community for their insight, and they had some great tips that you can read here.
We hope you have found this information useful! Take care.

More Community Posts

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

create a new community post
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:56pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:52pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:19pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:18pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:19pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:16pm
Comments: 10
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:13pm
Comments: 13
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:10pm
Comments: 9
Latest Post by mom2two Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:03pm
Comments: 18
Latest Post by desmond Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:00pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by desmond Mon, 09/16/2019 - 12:58pm
Comments: 19
Latest Post by TeddyCan Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:32pm
Comments: 10
Latest Post by DTurner Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:31pm
Comments: 5
Latest Post by B.M.18 Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:30pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by abolitionist146 Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:28pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by nutfreenyc Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:19pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by AllergicTeen2 Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:18pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by PeanutAllergy.com Fri, 09/06/2019 - 1:52pm
Comments: 1

More Articles

You might have wondered if small amounts of an ingredient can be added to a food product without being declared on the food’s label. The FDA...

Is it possible to eat your way to a food allergy cure? Scientists think it’s...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Not all oils are created equal. Some oils are high in saturated fats or in trans-fatty acids – not good for general health. Some are partially...

It may never be safe to begin feeding peanut butter to your baby or toddler if you have peanut allergies in your family. If either parent or one...

More Articles

More Articles

What is a peanut allergy? It is a reaction that occurs in the body after eating peanuts or peanut...

For those with severe food allergies, flying can be a stressful process. Here are...

Approximately one out of 13 children under age 18 are allergic to at least one food, though many of them will outgrow their allergy by the age of...

Fact 1: Over a third of food allergy reactions happen after the first known oral...

The reason why some people are affected by allergies while others are not begins in their genes. Allergies are passed down from generation to...

Here’s a tip that might someday save your life, or that of a loved one: two to four times a year, review the proper way to use your epinephrine...

Lactose intolerance is the inability to process lactose, a sugar found in milk, caused by the lack of a needed enzyme. Those with lactose...

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA)

An important part of peanut allergy awareness was enacted on January 1, 2006...

Tomato allergies are very rare. They are a "type 1 allergy," which means a contact allergy. When a person with this type of allergy touches a...

Milk allergies are becoming more common, especially in babies and small children. There is some confusion about what is an allergic reaction and...

Recognizing food allergy in babies or toddlers is not always easy, but there are specific risk factors and signs that parents and other caregivers...

Burlap bags are often used to store and ship coffee beans, potatoes, rice, seeds, nuts, and peanuts. They can be one of the disguised...

People with pollen allergies need to stay away from some foods. If you have allergic rhinitis in the spring or fall, you may not realize that you...

Of course, everyone knows that if you have a peanut allergy that you should avoid peanuts, peanut butter, peanut butter cookies and foods that...

Eating at a nut-free lunch table in school is a safety precaution that causes some students to feel isolated from their peers. Unfortunately,...