Epinephrine Autoinjectors: How & When To Use Them

Epinephrine autoinjectors are life-saving medical devices that are the first line of treatment when experiencing a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). If you or a family member suffers from allergies that could trigger anaphylaxis, it’s important always to keep one on hand wherever you go.  It is also important to know how and when to use them. Learn more about the right way to use epinephrine autoinjectors in the event of an emergency.

1st, How Do Epinephrine Autoinjectors Work? 

Epinephrine autoinjectors contain the medication epinephrine, which is currently recommended as the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis and the only medication that can quickly help mitigate the reaction and allow for time to get to an emergency room.

It’s important to note that epinephrine autoinjectors are to be used in the event of an emergency only and not in place of regular allergy medication.

How Do I Know When to Use My Epinephrine Autoinjector?

An epinephrine autoinjector should be used at the first sign of a severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis. These symptoms include:

  • Mouth itching, swelling of the lips, tongue, or both
  • Throat itching, tightness/closure, hoarseness
  • Skin itching, hives, redness, swelling
  • Gut vomiting, diarrhea, cramps
  • Lung, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing
  • Heart weak pulse, dizziness, passing out

For how to use the pen, follow the instructions on the medication as provided. An epinephrine autoinjector is designed to go through clothing in the event of an emergency, so you will not have to remove clothing near the injection site unless you are wearing thick layers.

How to Safely Store an Epinephrine Autoinjector

It’s important to keep the medication on you at all times in the event of an emergency allergic reaction but know how to store it safely not to damage the medication.

  • Keep the medication out of direct sunlight and heat, and store it in a cool, dry place when on the go or when at home.
  • Do not leave the epinephrine autoinjector in your car when on the go.
  • Do not submerge the pen in water.
  • Always keep the pen in its container until it is time for use.

Are you concerned that you may need epinephrine autoinjectors in the event of a severe allergic reaction? Contact the board-certified allergists at McGovern Allergy & Asthma Clinic. Their experienced team can provide allergy testing to determine if an epinephrine autoinjector is right for you or a loved one.

For appointments, call 713-661-1444 or request one online. https://mcgovernallergy.com/request-an-appointment-online/