EpiPen is the brand name of the most common type of autoinjector of epinephrine (i.e. adrenaline). Because they can be self-administered and are very fast-acting, EpiPens are commonly carried by persons with severe allergies and a risk of anaphylactic shock. In the US and the UK, EpiPens are regulated medical devices and require a prescription. more...
The standard dosage of epinephrine which is supplied by an EpiPen is 0.3ml of 1 in 1000 Parts (0.3mg). Child-sized dosages (0.15mg) are available as the EpiPen JR. In the US, EpiPen JR is recommended for children 33-66 lbs., while in Canada it is recommended for children up to 33 lbs. (15 kg). Consult your child's doctor to determine when your child should switch from EpiPen JR. to EpiPen.
The EpiPen contains a spring-loaded needle that shoots out of the tip and into the recipient's body to deliver the medication. The carrying tube that the pen comes in is easily broken; however, several companies sell durable replacement carrying tubes.
The EpiPen usually has a shelf life of about 12 months, or until the contents contain a precipitate or discolor. Once this occurs, the EpiPen should be discarded if unused by returning it to your local drugstore, pharmacy or hospital for safe disposal.
Despite being trademarked, common usage of the word "epipen" is drifting toward the generic context of any autoinjector.
- Follow the emergency instructions in the kit.
- Do not remove the locking cap until ready to use the injector.
- The thigh is the recommended injection site.
- DO NOT inject into the buttocks or intravenously.
- Hold in place for 10-15 seconds to allow time for the auto-injection to complete.
- Seek immediate medical attention regardless of the use of the EpiPen.
- Adults may need a second epi-pen to be administered, but if administered too soon after the first, this can cause the heart to beat too fast.
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