Epinephrine Auto-Injector Overview: EpiPen

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EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector for the Treatment of Severe Allergic Reactions

For people who suffer from anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can result from an allergy to certain foods, latex, insect bites, insect stings, medications and even exercise, it is important to always carry two doses of epinephrine, a medication that is self-injected into the thigh that works to immediately help alleviate the potentially life-threatening symptoms of a severe allergic reaction prior to obtaining emergency medical care.

There are several brands of self-injectable epinephrine that a doctor can prescribe. The EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors are two of the most commonly prescribed self-injectable versions of epinephrine.

Following is an overview of important attributes of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr:

Indication / Approved Uses
The EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the emergency treatment of Type-1 allergic reactions, which includes stinging insects (e.g., bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants), biting insects (e.g., mosquitoes), foods (e.g., milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy), diagnostic testing substances (e.g., radio contrast media), medications as well as latex and exercise-induced anaphylaxis.
Dosage
The dose of epinephrine needed to treat an allergic reaction is dependent on the weight of the person. The EpiPen contains a 0.3 mg dose of epinephrine and should only be used in people who weigh more than 66 pounds. The EpiPen Jr contains a smaller dose of epinephrine – 0.15 mg – and should only be used in people who weight between 33 and 66 pounds.
For people who are known to be at an increased risk of having a severe allergic reaction, having two doses of epinephrine available at all times is recommended. Because of this recommendation, both the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are available in packs of two -- the EpiPen 2-Pak and the EpiPen Jr 2-Pak.
Injection Site
The EpiPen and EpiPen Jr should only be injected into the upper thigh. It is important to not inject either device in the buttocks as it may not be effective in helping to reverse the allergic reaction.
Storage
It is important to keep either the EpiPen or EpiPen Jr nearby for immediate use. Both devices should be kept stored at room temperature and should not be exposed to extreme heat or cold temperatures. Remember to check the expiration date of the EpiPen or EpiPen Jr and replace it if it is not used by that date.
Manufacturer
Dey Pharma, L.P.
Website
www.epipen.com or www.myepipen.com

photo by Sean William

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