How to use an EpiPen® in 90 seconds

Epinephrine is the drug utilized if someone is experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. While EpiPen® is the most common auto-injectable device, there are several other brands, including AUVI-Q®, as well as generic options. We asked Monica Nelson-Meyer, site supervisor, PPG - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, to take 90 seconds and show us the proper way to administer the drug, should anaphylaxis occur.

Additional tips:

  • Since children might not be able to communicate what they’re experiencing, their symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction could just be a sense of doom, where the child just feels something isn’t right.
     
  • Be sure to massage the injection spot for about 10 seconds.
     
  • Each injector device will include two pens. If, in 5-10 minutes, you are not experiencing relief of symptoms, use the second pen. Even if the first pen alone resolves the symptoms, still go to the ER. You never know when it will come again.
     
  • The needle in the injector retracts into the device. You should never see any needles throughout the process of using the EpiPen®. If you see one, do not use and dispose of the device properly.
     
  • Once you’ve administered the injector, put it back in the container. You’ll notice it does not close flush. That’s because the end of the device is covering the needle. At this point, call 911 or go to your local hospital.
     
  • Place the used injector back in the container and take it to the ER with you. Take any used product to your physician’s office or pharmacy, and be sure you get a refill.

 

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