The new American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) guidelines update on anaphylaxis discusses numerous tips about carrying and proper storage of epinephrine auto-injectors (Epi-Pen, Auvi-Q, Adrenaclick, or others). This month, we want to go over some of those tips for you!
- Always carry two! The epinephrine auto-injectors come in two-packs. They are meant to stay together. This is so there is always a second dose available if it is needed if symptoms don’t fully respond to one dose or return after the first dose. Make sure you carry both!
- Practice technique! Most devices come with a trainer and there are numerous educational videos showing proper use. Your healthcare provider and staff are also great resources! Be sure you know how to properly use your device, so you’re prepared if an emergency occurs.
- Check expiration dates! Make sure you always have up-to-date epinephrine auto-injectors and replace expired devices as they will be the best option to manage an allergic reaction. However, if you are ever having an allergic emergency and realize you have an expired device, it is still okay to use it! It is still safe to use, and we would rather you use an expired device than no treatment at all.
- Make sure it’s being stored at the right temperature! The optimal range for epinephrine storage varies slightly based on manufacturer. However, the “sweet spot” is between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Your device should not be exposed to extreme temperatures for long periods of time. it should not be frozen or refrigerated and should not be kept in a vehicle in hot weather. There are insulated carrying cases you can purchase to keep the temperature regulated. Also, when traveling, make sure it is not in your checked luggage!
- Possible new treatments are coming! There is a lot of research on anaphylaxis and various treatment options, including possible needle-free epinephrine devices! As possible new options come available, your Allergist will discuss which treatment is best and safest for you!