*UPDATE*Stupid Stupid left epi in van/car overnight in freezing temperature

Posted on: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 11:30am
Worththewait's picture
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Joined: 11/25/2007 - 11:39

I left my daughters epi pen in the van overnight and it was below freezing temperatures! What a costly mistake, our insurance only covers one a year and we just bought this one a few months ago :(

Posted on: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 11:44am
CKH's picture
CKH
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Joined: 10/15/2007 - 11:15

I'm so sorry - I did that once in the heat of the Texas summer! So frustrating (and so human...)

Posted on: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 11:55am
mharasym's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2001 - 09:00

What province are you in that you're only covered for 1 per year? I thought we had "free" healthcare! If it's your private prescription insurance that won't cover it, I'd be taking that up with them. You need to have a minimum of two in order to manage your allergies - one for each 10 minutes away from help and also a spare in case of misfire or malfunction. The expiry dates on them are such that you need to be able to buy at LEAST two per year - I'd say more like four! If you have no luck with your insurance carrier to cover more, then I'd for sure take it to your pharmacist and see if he'll trade it for you for a new one. This just doesn't sound right.

Posted on: Thu, 12/13/2007 - 3:34am
Edinview's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2003 - 09:00

If I remember what the representative from Dey Pharmaceuticals said, freezing doesn't harm the epi very much. Freezing and re-freezing repeatedly will result in part of the epinephrine getting denatured, which means that you only get part of the dose of epi which won't be enough to stop anaphylaxis. But one time freezing doesn't destroy the epinephrine. Also the epi-pen itself won't work if it is frozen solid, but once it's thawed out it should work. I think you should carefully inspect the epipen to make sure there is no damage or cracking from the cold. Please call the epi-pen manufacturer to verify, but this is what I've understood from a couple of conversations in person with a Dey rep.
Leaving the epi-pen in the car when it's hot, on the other hand, that *will* denature the epinephrine. So you shouldn't expect to use those left in a hot car, but a cold car one time should be useable.
By the way, do you carry only 1 epipen at a time? I have heard from people on this board and confirmed with my allergist that it's wise to carry 2 epipens in case the first one fails to inject properly, and you always want a back up dose to get you to the hospital since the epipen will only buy you about 20 minutes (if memory serves). Then there's the Twinject, those are the pens where just one pen has 2 shots of epi, and although the manufacturer doesn't advertise this, there is a 3rd dose that you can inject from the same syringe/needle. Our allergist showed us how to get the third shot out of the same pen. (The 3rd shot is the extra that they need to put into the Twinject to make sure there is enough epi to inject easily, and it might be just a little under the stated dose (which is why the manufacturer doesn't advertise this 3rd shot, because they cannot guarantee that it is exactly the same dose), but if you are in a situation that you need a 3rd shot, then you probably won't worry about the chance that there might be a *little* less epi, and hopefully an ambulance is on its way).
Again, if you intend to use the Twinject and want the 3rd shot option, please speak with Twinject reps, as well as your allergist for the most current info on how to administer as well as what they've heard about the effectiveness of that 3rd shot in real world situations.

Posted on: Thu, 12/13/2007 - 11:23am
Worththewait's picture
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Joined: 11/25/2007 - 11:39

Yes we do have the twinjet. That is the first I've heard of the third shot, thanks for the info and I will definately follow up on that. As for the freezing, the pharmasist was the one that told me I had to get a new one, that freezing would alter the chemical balance and may harm my child if I used it.......I think I will be calling the company in the morning. I will double check with our insurance provider as well on coverage, maybe I got a newbie last time when I inquired? Yes it is private coverage BTW, I'm in New Brunswick and the province doesn't pay for prescriptions when you are employed.....just those on income assistance would get that kind of coverage. Thanks ladies for all the great suggestions!

Posted on: Fri, 12/14/2007 - 7:09am
maphiemom's picture
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Joined: 12/01/2005 - 09:00

Originally Posted By: mharasymWhat province are you in that you're only covered for 1 per year? I thought we had "free" healthcare! If it's your private prescription insurance that won't cover it, I'd be taking that up with them. You need to have a minimum of two in order to manage your allergies - one for each 10 minutes away from help and also a spare in case of misfire or malfunction. The expiry dates on them are such that you need to be able to buy at LEAST two per year - I'd say more like four! If you have no luck with your insurance carrier to cover more, then I'd for sure take it to your pharmacist and see if he'll trade it for you for a new one. This just doesn't sound right.
You get free perscriptions in Winnipeg, wow , yes we have free heath care anything needed is covered but drugs are not , sure wish they were.

Posted on: Fri, 12/14/2007 - 10:37am
mharasym's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2001 - 09:00

Sorry, let me clarify! Manitoba covers "medical expenses" when you reach a certain amount based on percentage of income. They don't restrict (to my knowledge) the # of refills of a particular prescription.
I guess it varies by province.
M

Posted on: Fri, 12/14/2007 - 1:47pm
falcon's picture
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Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

My understanding about the effect of cold temps was that it could compromise the spring mechanism - not the medication... Either way, it is a problem. So sorry!

Posted on: Fri, 12/14/2007 - 4:42pm
Edinview's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2003 - 09:00

I always thought that the epipen wouldn't work because it wouldn't be able to inject frozen epinephrine. You just can't push ice through a needle. But once everything thawed out, the epipen would function normally, if the epinephrine was still in good shape it would work once it was injected. If someone gets a good answer from one of the manufacturers please let us all know. Thanks!

Posted on: Mon, 12/17/2007 - 3:02am
Worththewait's picture
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Joined: 11/25/2007 - 11:39

*UPDATE*
I called the company directly, they said the epi pen must be thrown out, [u]no ifs ands or butts [/u]because freezing would alter the epinephrine. It can't even be kept in the fridge according to them, so make sure not to leave yours in the car when spending just the afternoon in the mall. FYI

Posted on: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:48am
beachfan's picture
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Joined: 02/15/2006 - 09:00

Try this: I have an EpiPen 2-Pack holder. It's a zip up carrier from the Epi company. It has a clip on it and I attached my key ring to it which only has my car key on it. Now, I don't leave it in the car anymore and it doesn't sit in the seat next to me in direct sun anymore since the key is in the ignition. Good Luck

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