EPI PEN/AUVI-Q/ADRENACLICK AUTOINJECTOR
This medicine is used in the event of an anaphylactic emergency, a serious and sometimes life threatening reaction. EpiPen‘s are necessary for patients who have a food, insect or latex allergy. Patients with angioedema or are receiving Xolair therapy need them as well.
Although extremely rare (less than 1%) patients receiving allergy shots (Immunotherapy) are also at risk for anaphylaxis. This generally occurs within the first 24 hours of getting an allergy shot and is most likely to happen within the first 3 hours. Having to carry an Epi pen may sound scary at first but it is a wise precaution to quickly reverse a dangerous reaction.
The vast majority of anaphylactic symptoms are promptly resolved with the use of antihistamines, epinephrine and steroids. Epinephrine allows you time to get further medical help and by itself is not meant to be the sole treatment. Follow-through medical care is always recommended. One should call 911 or our office immediately after using an Epi-pen.
Anaphylaxis can occur quickly, as fast as within a couple of minutes. Symptoms may be mild at first and become severe. They vary in individuals and include:
- Itchy rash (Hives) may occur anywhere on your body
- Flushing (redness in face or chest that feels warm)
- Swelling of lips/tongue
- Tightness in throat with difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing/coughing/wheezing/chest pain or tightness
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness and/or headaches
- Nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
EpiPen 0.3mg (used for 50 lbs and up)
EpiPen Jr. 0.15mg (used for 0-50 lbs)
Once you’re familiar with your Epi-Pen/Auvi-Q/Adrenaclick Auto-Injector, giving yourself or someone in your care an epinephrine injection is really quite simple — and it can help save a life. Here’s what you need to do:
- Pull off the blue safety release cap. Once this is removed it cannot be replaced.
- Swing and firmly push the orange tip against the mid outer thigh so it “clicks”. Hold on thigh approximately 5 seconds to deliver drug.
- Seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 and going to the closest medical facility. Take the used Epi Pen Auto-injector(s) with you to the hospital emergency department. We recommend that you do not attempt to drive yourself.
Side effects may include an increase in heart rate, a stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness, or anxiety. These side effects usually go away quickly.
Certain medications used in the treatment of heart disease such as beta-blockers may block the medicinal benefits of epinephrine therefore it is important for you to inform our office if you are taking one of these medications. You will be asked to switch your medicine to a non beta blocker medicine before we can consider starting you on allergy shots. Some examples of beta blockers are:
We recommend you carry your Epi-Pen for 24 hrs following your allergy or Xolair injection or at all times if food/latex or insect allergic. It should be kept at room temperature (25*C, 77*F) until the marked expiration date, when it should be replaced. The effectiveness of this drug may decrease after the expiration date, therefore care should be taken to promptly refill the prescription before the expiration date. Your Epi-Pen auto-injector should not be refrigerated or exposed to extreme heat or light.
Approximately 20-35% of patients who receive an initial dose of epinephrine for treatment of allergic emergencies may require a second dose. Therefore it is important that patients at risk carry two doses of epinephrine. A second dose can be administered in 5-10 mins if symptoms continue to be severe. Our script is written so your pharmacist should dispense to you two Epi-Pens at once.
School forms/excuses/day care forms can be completed for all minors to have at school.