Allergic Reactions

Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction that may occur very quickly. The most common anaphylaxis reactions are to food, insect stings, medications and latex.

Symptoms Include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hives or swelling
  • Tighness of the throat
  • Hoarse voice
  • Nausea
  • Vomitting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Feeling of doom
  • Cardiac arrest

How To Use An Epipen

If you or someone you’re caring for shows signs or symptoms of a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), seek immediate medical treatment. This includes an injection of epinephrine (EpiPen) and dialing 9-1-1. If it isn’t treated properly, anaphylaxis can be fatal.


When should I inject EpiPen?

As soon as you notice the first signs of a severe allergic reaction. It’s important to understand that serious reactions don’t always have initial warning signs, and can come out of nowhere. It’s best to discuss with your doctor what the best course of action is for your EpiPen protocol. They will understand your situation and allergies.

How long do I hold the EpiPen in place?

Place the orange tip against the person’s outer thigh, and make sure that the pen is perpendicular to the thigh. Then swing into the leg with the pen. You should hear a click, which means that the injection has started. From there, hold it in place firmly as you count down from 3 slowly. After this, you are okay to remove the pen from their thigh.

Can I inject EpiPen through my clothes?

Yes, it is absolutely okay to inject EpiPen through your clothing. Just be sure to make sure that the injection gets through the clothes, and that you hold the EpiPen firmly in place.

What should I do with my used Epipen?

After using an Epipen, you should immediately seek medical attention. When you get in touch with emergency responders, you can give them the used Epipen to be discarded.

What do I do to prepare to administer the shot?

Prepare to administer the shot by taking the pen out of the clear carrying tube that is holding it. Hold the pen tight in your fist with the orange tip pointing downwards. There is a blue safety release that needs to be pulled before administering the shot. To do this, use your other hand to pull the release straight out. Be sure not to twist or bend the release as you pull it out.

How to Store an EpiPen?

EpiPens need to be stored correctly in order for them to work properly. EpiPens should be stored at room temperature. Room temperature is typically somewhere between 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. If stored in extreme heat, it can reduce the efficacy of the medication. Furthermore, you will also need to keep the EpiPen away from light. If an EpiPen is left in the light for too long, the UV rays can cause the epinephrine to degrade.

Can I Travel With an EpiPen?

Yes, you can travel with an EpiPen. In fact, it is critical that you carry it with you at all times if you have severe allergies. Before packing it, make sure the EpiPen is not expired and put it into an accessible location. This can include the front of your bag and even in your pocket. You want to be able to administer the EpiPen as soon as you feel the onset of symptoms.

Do I Need a Prescription For an EpiPen?

In most countries, people will need to obtain a prescription for an EpiPen. You will need to consult your doctor if you have severe allergies or anaphylaxis to know if an EpiPen is right for you.

Can I Use an Expired EpiPen in an Emergency Situation?

In most cases, it is generally not recommended to use an expired EpiPen in an emergency. Expired EpiPens may not be efficient. However, in extreme cases, using an expired EpiPen is better than administering no epinephrine at all. Always make sure to check the expiration date and replace them if they are close to expiring. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to have multiple EpiPens in different locations, such as work, home, and school.

How Many Times Can I Use an EpiPen?

EpiPens contain a single dose of epinephrine and are single-use only. Once the EpiPen has been used and has taken effect, seek out emergency medical care immediately. The effects of epinephrine only last about 20 to 30 minutes.

Can Children Use EpiPens?

Yes, children are able to use EpiPens. However, it is critical that they are properly instructed on how to use them in the event of an emergency. Anaphylaxis can also occur in children, and having an EpiPen can save their lives. In fact, most children who suffer from extreme allergies or have a history of anaphylaxis carry around an EpiPen. It is equally important to educate children about what their allergies are, how to avoid potential triggers, and how to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction.

What Do I Do If I Accidentally Use My EpiPen?

In the event of an accidental injection, seek out emergency medical care immediately, even if you are not currently experiencing any allergy symptoms. Your healthcare provider can keep a watchful eye for any complications.

Can I Use an EpiPen on My Pet?

Although epinephrine can be used to help pets, the EpiPens are only made for humans. You will need to seek out veterinary care if your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction.

Schedule A Consultation

If you or a loved one require an EpiPen or are interested in learning more about them, please call 314-582-0888 to schedule a consultation with our experienced team at our offices in St. Louis and Festus, MO. Our experienced doctors treat allergies using state-of-the-art care and professionalism.

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