EpiPenŽ and EpiPenŽ Jr; Dosing
EpiPenŽ and EpiPenŽ Jr auto-injectors are self-injection systems that can provide a rapid, convenient dose of epinephrine for individuals needing protection from potentially fatal allergic reactions. The dose of epinephrine prescribed may vary according to your weight and other factorswith the smaller dosing system being called EpiPenŽ JrEpiPenŽ auto-injectors are simple and relatively painless to use, even for children. Although epinephrine self-injection can treat anaphylactic reactions quite effectively, medical care should still be sought after its use to insure complete recovery from the allergic episode.
You may wish to view our animated movie illustrating how to use EpiPenŽ.
EpiPenŽ and Epinephrine
The EpiPenŽ auto-injector is a disposable drug delivery system featuring spring activation and a concealed needle. It is designed for self-administration of epinephrine in acute allergic emergencies (anaphylaxis). It provides a rapid, convenient dose of epinephrine for individuals needing protection from potentially fatal allergic reactions.
Epinephrine by injection is the treatment of choice for anaphylactic reactions because it quickly begins working to reverse symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction. Epinephrine constricts blood vessels, relaxes smooth muscles in the lungs to improve breathing, stimulates the heartbeat, and works to reverse hives and swelling around the face and lips. The effects of epinephrine usually last 10 to 20 minutes.
Epinephrine dosing is based on body weight. Your doctor will prescribe what is right for you. The EpiPenŽ auto-injector (0.3 mg) is for individuals weighing 66 lbs. or more. The EpiPenŽ Jr auto-injector (0.15 mg) is for individuals weighing between 33 and 66 lbs. Both strengths deliver a single dose.
Sometimes a single dose of epinephrine may not be enough to completely reverse the effects of an anaphylactic reaction. For that reason, your physician may prescribe more than one auto-injector.
For more information about the dosing of epinephrine for anaphylaxis see the complete EpiPenŽ auto-injector patient prescribing information.
About the Self-Injection Procedure
The injection itself is relatively painless, and the beneficial effects of the drug will be felt soon after injection. The most common changes you may feel are a rapid heartbeat and slight nervousness, "like a shot of adrenaline." As with any epinephrine product, you may also experience palpitations (irregular pulsing of the heart), sweating, dizziness, and headache. The EpiPenŽ auto-injector should only be used on the fleshy outer portion of the thigh and can be used through clothing. You may choose to watch an animated movie about how to administer the EpiPenŽ auto-injector so that you can have a better understanding how it works.
After Using EpiPenŽ
The EpiPenŽ auto-injector is intended for emergency use only. After use, you should seek further medical help immediately. At the same time, try to keep warm and avoid unnecessary exertion. The effects of the injection begin to wear off after 10 to 20 minutes; therefore, it is important to seek further medical assistance. If you cannot go to an emergency room, call 911 for assistance. Make sure you inform the health professionals who will treat you that you have given yourself an injection of epinephrine. Take the EpiPenŽ auto-injector with you to the hospital emergency room and ask the doctor or nurse to dispose of it for you. This will ensure that the doctor knows you have had a shot of epinephrine and what amount you received. To aid in the transport of your EpiPenŽ auto-injector to the hospital for disposal, carefully place the used auto-injector (without bending the needle), needle-end first, into the storage tube of the carrying case that provides built-in needle protection after use. Then screw the cap of the storage tube back on completely and take it with you to the hospital emergency room.
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