Epinephrine Is the First Line of Treatment for Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)
Epinephrine is the only treatment for a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis (anna-fih-LACK-sis). Epinephrine comes in the form of easy-to-use auto-injectors. It is only available through a prescription by your doctor.
Children or adults who have severe food allergies need two of these auto-injectors with them at all times. For children, this might mean having more than one set of medicine. For example, the child may need to keep one set at school and one set at after-school care. Another set typically remains at home. For adults, two auto-injectors might be enough.
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What types of auto-injectors are available?
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How does it stop anaphylaxis?
What is the role of antihistamines in treating anaphylaxis?
How do you inject epinephrine?
What if you accidentally inject yourself?
What do you need to know about temperature storage?
Epinephrine auto-injectors are the treatment for anaphylaxis. Several epinephrine auto-injectors are now available in the United States. There are also generic versions. Each contains the drug epinephrine. But, each device has its own unique set of instructions for use. Understanding the differences is important so that you get the device you want and you know how to properly use it.
The chart below summarizes the key facts about each of the available epinephrine auto-injectors. All listed auto-injectors are available in twin packs that contain two (2) devices. Epinephrine Injection, USP auto-injector is also available as a single injection. This is the authorized generic of Adrenaclick. More details are available at the manufacturers’ websites. These websites also have patient instructional videos.
Pharmacists must follow state and federal regulations when filling your prescription for epinephrine. You should keep this in mind when filling your prescription.
There are many states in which the pharmacist can substitute a generic form of the prescription. This must be on the prescription in writing. The pharmacist must also get a verbal approval from the physician. If you or your physician prefer to receive a specific brand name, your physician must write the brand name and “DAW” (dispense as written) or “do not substitute” on the prescription. This notation prohibits the pharmacist from dispensing a generic form of the prescription. Before you leave the pharmacy, make sure the pharmacy fills your prescription exactly as you and your child's doctor expects.
Remember to speak to your child’s physician to determine which epinephrine product is best for your child. Each device operates differently. Make sure that you have been trained to use the device that you leave the pharmacy with. Also, you should review the training video for that device.
0.15 mg and
provides $0 out of pocket for those with commercial insurance; free for those without insurance; see website for more details about eligibility and direct delivery option.
0.15 mg and
Co-pay card provides maximum
benefit of $100 per EpiPen®
twin pack and can be redeemed up to 3 times until December 31, 2017.
Patients can register on the
product website for an e-mail
reminder when their medication
0.15 mg and
Co-pay card provides maximum benefit of up to $25 off in savings per twin pack (can be redeemed up to three times)
Patients can register on the product website for an e-mail reminder when their medication will expire
0.15 mg and
Distributed by Lineage Therapeutics
Co-pay card provides maximum benefit of $100 per twin pack (can be redeemed up to 3 times)
Training devices are available for free via web or telephone.
When you register for the refill reminder program, a reminder email will be sent one month prior to expiration date
*Available as a single injection or a twin pack.
** Epinephrine, USP auto-injector is the authorized generic of Adrenaclick (not currently available).
Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, hosted a free educational webinar on February 26, 2014 featuring two of our medical advisors, Michael Pistiner, MD, and Angela Nace, PharmD. They discussed:
- How epinephrine treats anaphylaxis
- Accidental injections
- Key facts about the drug including storage temperature recommendations and more
Unfortunately, some people cannot afford to buy this potentially life-saving medicine. If this is the case for you, there are options to help. On our blog, we offer up-to-date details about:
- Savings programs
- Pharmacy differences
- Insurance preferences
- Other sources of assistance
Blog: What to do if you can't afford epinephrine
Up to 25% of severe allergic reactions that occur on school campuses happen to people who are experiencing their very first anaphylaxis reaction. Since these people (children, staff and visitors) have not been previously diagnosed with allergies, they may not have their own epinephrine auto-injectors on hand. Most states have passed legislation to allow schools to stock undesignated epinephrine as a part of their emergency medical kits. This allows specified staff to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction. Many states are looking beyond the classroom to other areas where food allergy triggers could be present. In any public space where food is present – such as sports and recreation venues, summer camps, amusement parks, movie theaters – there is a risk for an allergic person to come in contact with their allergen. To find out the status of epinephrine laws in your state, visit www.aafa.org/epinephrine.
Children show their support for Pennsylvania's epinephrine stocking bill
Related Epinephrine Resources
1. Product information for AUVI-Q. kaléo, Richmond, VA 23219. February 2017.
2. Product information for EpiPen. Mylan Inc. Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. August 2012.
3. Epinephrine Injection, USP auto-injector, the authorized generic (AG) of EpiPen®, Mylan Inc. Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. December 2016
4. Product information for Epinephrine Injection, USP autoinjector, the authorized generic (AG) of Adrenaclick™. Lineage Therapeutics. Horsham, PA 19044. April 2013.
Medical review February 2014, June 2014, January 2015. Updated January 2016, August 2016, December 2016, January 2017, and February 2017.