EpiPen is an emergency auto-injection with a dose of adrenaline. It contains a quick-acting drug called adrenaline which is administered to people suffering from a severe allergic reaction in an emergency.
EpiPen is used to treat severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis to certain foods, drugs, insect bites or stings and other allergens.
EpiPen contains the drug adrenaline which narrows the blood vessels and opens up the airways in the lungs. This helps reverse allergic reaction symptoms such as severe redness or skin itching, severe low blood pressure, hives, wheezing, and more.
EpiPen is a quick-acting injection that helps reverse a severe allergic reaction and its symptoms by:
Increasing lowered blood pressure
Stabilising the heart rate
Subsiding the swelling of the nose, lips or throat
EpiPen is a life-saving injectable drug given during an emergency.
The dosage of EpiPen is determined as per the subject’s body weight.
Patients greater than or equal to 30 kg in weight should use EpiPen 0.3 mg.
Patients weighing 15 to 30 kg should use EpiPen Jr. 0.15 mg.
EpiPens should only be used by patients who have seen their usual GP or an allergy clinic and have been advised that carrying or using an EpiPen is the safest option for them and is clinically appropriate.
Note that EpiPen is a medication that is to be administered only during an emergency or a severe anaphylactic reaction. It is for one-time use and should be disposed of properly after use.
If you inject the EpiPen auto-injector accidentally into your hands, fingers or feet it may result in injury to this area. Seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Never touch the orange tip of the EpiPen and do not remove the blue safety cap until you are ready to use it.
Always keep the EpiPen in its outer container, this protects it from light. When adrenaline is exposed to air or light, it can become compromised and deteriorate rapidly and may turn pink or brown.
Check the expiry date on your EpiPen. Also, check the contents from time to time to ensure that the solution is clear and colourless. If the solution is discoloured or contains residual particles or if your pen has expired, get a new prescription from your doctor and return the EpiPen to your pharmacist.
Use EpiPen only during a severe anaphylactic reaction that has been triggered due to exposure to an allergen. Symptoms may include:
Difficulty in breathing
Increased heart rate
Rapidly increasing widespread rash
Swelling of the throat, nose or lips
Severe skin itching
An EpiPen can safely be administered by a patient by themselves once they have been shown how to use it and have been trained. It is a good idea to make sure those who you spend the most time with are aware of how to use it in case of emergency. It’s important to use the EpiPen only as instructed by your doctor. EpiPen can be injected through clothes if the need arises.
Follow the steps as below:
Remove the blue cap and then inject the orange tip of the EpiPen firmly into the outer thigh at a right angle, from about 10cm. This will release a spring-activated plunger which will then push the hidden needle into the thigh muscle to administer a dose of adrenaline. You will hear a click sound. Hold the pen firmly in the thigh for about 10 seconds before removing it.
Gently massage the area where you have injected the EpiPen for about 10 seconds. This will help improve the absorption of the adrenaline.
Be careful to inject EpiPen only into the outer side of the thigh. It should not be injected into the buttock or any vein.
Call an ambulance every time you use the EpiPen, even if you feel that the symptoms are improving. The effects of the EpiPen will last for about 5 – 10 minutes, after which the patient will need proper treatment.
The person who has been administered a dose of the EpiPen should lie down with legs raised. If possible, do not leave the patient alone.
If the symptoms of the allergic reaction do not show signs of improvement or if they worsen, then use a second EpiPen about 5 to 10 minutes after the first one.
Adrenaline is the key ingredient of EpiPen and a quick-acting substance to tackle anaphylaxis. Patients with the following conditions should use this drug with caution:
Heart disease or an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias)
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
Tumour of the adrenal gland (known as a pheochromocytoma)
High calcium or low potassium in the blood
Allergy to sodium metabisulphite (used as a preservative in this product)
Some common side effects of EpiPen include:
Vomiting and nausea
Anxiety and nervousness
Tremors, usually of the hands
EpiPen can increase the risk of side effects on the heart if you are already taking any of the following medicines:
beta-blockers such as propranolol
MAOI antidepressants e.g. phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, moclobemide
tricyclic antidepressants e.g. amitriptyline
The adrenaline present in EpiPen can also decrease the level of insulin in the body and result in an increased level of blood sugar.
EpiPen should not be exposed to light or air, it should be kept in its glass cartridge. Store it below 25°C. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
If you have already been prescribed EpiPen once by your doctor, you can use that prescription and purchase the medicine online from MedsNow. Please arrange an online consultation with our team to discuss in more detail if you need help.
How Many Doses Are There In One EpiPen?
Each EpiPen auto-injector delivers a single dose of 0.3 mg adrenaline.
How Many Times Can EpiPen Be Used?
The EpiPen should be used only once. Dispose of it properly after it’s used.
Where Should You Administer EpiPen?
EpiPen should be administered in the outer thigh ONLY. Ensure that you do not inject it accidentally in the buttock, inner thigh or any vein.
Can You Use EpiPen While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding?
Consult your doctor and inform them about your pregnancy if you are prescribed EpiPen and unsure when best to use it.
Do I Have To Go To The Hospital After Using An EpiPen?
Yes, EpiPen is only an emergency medicine that helps reduce anaphylaxis. But after taking EpiPen, you must immediately call the ambulance and go to the hospital for further treatment.
How Long Do EpiPens Last?
EpiPens tend to last for about 12 to 18 months.
Do EpiPens Need To Be Refrigerated?
No, EpiPens should not be refrigerated. They should be stored at room temperature only.
What Colour Should The Liquid In An EpiPen Be?
It should be transparent and colourless.
Why Do You Have To Go To A&E After Using An EpiPen?
EpiPen is an emergency medicine that helps control anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction for a short period. And hence, after taking this medicine, the patient should be taken to the Emergency Room immediately for further medical treatment.
What Can I Use If I Don't Have An EpiPen?
There is no effective medication you can buy over-the-counter for anaphylaxis apart from EpiPen. If you do not have your EpiPen please call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Why Does An EpiPen Have To Be Injected In The Thigh?
EpiPen is adrenaline-based emergency medicine and needs fast uptake for the treatment of anaphylaxis. The thigh muscle is one of the largest muscles in the body with more blood supply (as opposed to the upper arm). Hence, it allows for faster absorption of adrenaline.
Can EpiPens Go Through Jeans?
Yes, EpiPens can be administered through most clothing, including jeans. However, it should not be inserted at the place of the seams.
Does EpiPen Work Immediately?
Yes, adrenaline is a quick-acting drug that is useful in case of life-threatening emergencies.
Does An EpiPen Have A Needle?
Yes, it has a needle.
Will An EpiPen Save Your Life?
Yes, EpiPen is known to be a life-saving medicine for severe allergic reactions, also known as anaphylaxis.
How Bad Does An EpiPen Hurt?
Like any injection which is administered directly into the muscles, EpiPen will feel like a sharp sting when the needle pierces through the skin. After that, there is an ache when the medicine gets released into the thigh muscle. The sting is painful, but the pain lasts for less than 10 seconds.
Can I Buy EpiPen Over the Counter?
EpiPen cannot be purchased over the counter.
Can You Use An EpiPen On Anyone?
It should only be used on a patient who has been prescribed this medication.