During an anaphylaxis, epinephrine can stop the reaction. Always remember that anaphylaxis can be life-threatening if not treated right away and properly, thus epinephrine is the first line of defense. Majority of individuals who suffer from anaphylaxis always carry epinephrine injectors and the most common is EpiPen.
An EpiPen is an auto-injector that is already pre-filled with epinephrine and administered during a severe allergic reaction. The allergic reaction of the body is lessened by relaxing the airway muscles as well as reverses the drastic drop in blood pressure and relaxing the muscles in the bladder, stomach and intestines.
When to use an EpiPen
With the epinephrine in your EpiPen, it should be used right after an individual is exposed to the allergen that triggers an allergic reaction. Individuals who have been prescribed with epinephrine injection should bring it all the time and use it right away once the initial signs of a severe allergic reaction manifest.
In case you are unsure whether you are suffering from a severe allergic reaction, it is best to use autoinjector. Upon administering EpiPen, there are some side effects such as paleness, rapid heart rate, weakness, dizziness, headache or tremors.
How to properly store EpiPen
Always remember that it is important to store your EpiPen properly in order to ensure that it is ready to use in case of a severe allergic reaction. There are certain considerations to bear in mind when storing your EpiPen.
- It should be stored in a carrier tube with the safety release on until you need to use it for allergic reactions.
- The EpiPen must be stored at room temperature and do not put in a refrigerator.
- Avoid keeping your autoinjector in your vehicle during extreme weather.
- Always protect your EpiPen from direct exposure to light. It can be exposed to temperatures between 15 – 30 degrees Celsius.
In most cases, you have to check the viewing window on your EpiPen to ensure that the solution is not brownish in color. You have to replace your epinephrine injection if the solution is cloudy or discolored.
Using an EpiPen
A first aid provider can administer an EpiPen during anaphylaxis. Just make sure that the EpiPen is already prescribed to the individual.
- Remove the EpiPen by unscrewing the yellow cap and slide it out.
- Remove the gray-colored safety cap from the back of the autoinjector. Take note it will not work if the cap is not removed.
- Hold the autoinjector in a fist and press the black, rounded tip into the thigh of the individual. Hold it in place while counting up to 10.
- Call for emergency assistance and discard the EpiPen. Once it is administered, immediately call for emergency assistance. The administration of epinephrine is for temporary relief and the individual should be taken to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.