EpiPen is an emergency injection which is used to treat severe allergic reactions.
The injector contains adrenaline (epinephrine), which counteracts the dangerously low blood pressure and other symptoms of anaphylactic shock.
Adrenaline (epinephrine) causes the blood vessels to constrict and opens the airways of the lungs to make breathing easier.
EpiPen should be used exactly as directed by your doctor. Your EpiPen comes with a dummy unit which can be used for practising to prepare you for an emergency. This unit does not contain any medicine or needle.
In an emergency situation, it is vital that you understand how to use your EpiPen.
In the event of an emergency, act quickly and calmly.
Firmly grasp the EpiPen with your dominant hand (writing hand) and ensure that your thumb is not covering the blue cap or orange tip.
Remove the blue safety cap with the other hand.
Hold the EpiPen about 10 cm away from your outer thigh, with the orange tip pointing towards your thigh.
Jab the EpiPen firmly into your outer thigh at a 90° angle and listen for the click.
Remain holding the EpiPen against your thigh and count 3 seconds.
Carefully remove the EpiPen from your thigh. The orange tip will automatically extend and hide the needle. You may discard the needle safely, out of the sight and reach from children and pets.
Dial 999 immediately, or get someone else to do this for you. Ask for an ambulance and state anaphylaxis as the cause for emergency.
All medications come with side effects. It is important to understand the risks associated with your medication. Always follow the instruction of the doctor and read the patient information leaflet before taking your medication.
Common side effects of EpiPen include:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- high blood pressure
- difficulty breathing
The effects of this treatment on pregnant women are not well known.
Take care not to accidentally jab your fingers or thumbs with the needle, as this can result in a lack of blood supply to the digits.
Please remember to check the cartridge of the EpiPen regularly to make sure the liquid is clear, colourless and contains no particles. If this occurs, discard the EpiPen and acquire a new auto-injector as soon as possible.
Keep the medicine out of the sight and reach of children and pets.