- Before leaving the doctor’s office, make sure that you are shown how to use the EpiPen.
- EpiPen 2-Pak comes with 2 EpiPens and a training device. Recognize which one is the training device (trainer is marked). If possible, get several 2-Paks so that you can keep them at home, school and on your person.
- Teach family and friends how to use the EpiPen. If you or they need a refresher, there is a great video at EpiPen.com and a MyEpiPenApp.
- Practice periodically using expired EpiPens on an apple or grapefruit, just make sure that you dispose of the used EpiPens properly at doctor’s office or fire station.
- EpiPens can be carried in a purse, backpack, fanny pack, athletic bag etc. There are also companies that sell packs specifically for carrying EpiPens and inhalers. Just remember to avoid refrigeration and exposure to extreme heat or light. Do not keep in a hot car! Replace if liquid is no longer clear.
- Effectiveness may decrease once expired (usually after 1 year) so remember to refill your prescription prior to expiration date. Dey Pharma has an email refill reminder program.
Why at least 2 doses?
- It is estimated that approximately 20% of people with an anaphylactic reaction may require a second dose of epinephrine.
- Epinephrine doses may be needed to be repeated every 5-15 minutes, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
- If you are in a remote location, emergency crew is delayed, or symptoms persist you may need a second EpiPen.
- In some states, the basic life support ambulances may not carry epinephrine (only advanced life support ambulances). Additionally, depending on the type of EMT on the ambulance, (basic, intermediate or paramedic) they may not be able to administer epinephrine, only assist you with your own medication. For more information, see www.foodallergy.org.
- In the midst of an emergency, the EpiPen may be used incorrectly. I have spoken with many people who have held the EpiPen upside down and injected their thumb. With the new design that states “needle end” in orange, this will hopefully occur less frequently. Again practice when in a calm, relaxed state.