Severe allergies to food, bee venom and more are on the rise and it is critical for caretakers to know how to respond in case of emergency. Reactions do happen and the best way to be prepared is by always carrying epinephrine and knowing how to administer it. Dr. Tara Shankar, board-certified allergist with Allergy and Immunology Associates of Ann Arbor, explains recent guideline changes for EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr.® Auto-Injector carriers to be aware of. “The main guideline change is that it is sufficient to keep the EpiPen auto injector against the skin for a total of three seconds, versus the ten seconds previously recommended. The average amount of time that it takes to deliver the medicine out of the EpiPen is 0.2 seconds, with studies showing that the medicine is consistently delivered in three seconds.” The second change is to the application technique. “While previously patients were told to swing and firmly push the device against the thigh, we now recommend that the leg should be held still and to apply the device with pressure until it fires. It doesn’t require much pressure to fire the device, which can still be used through clothing, and this method may result in decreased pain and likelihood of needle-related injuries,” explains Shankar. These two changes apply to all EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. Auto-Injectors on the market that have not expired.
Please note: as this article is going to press,
the rising costs of EpiPens have been a major concern
Talk to your allergist or doctor about your options to keep costs down