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Epinephrine is the synthetic equivalent to adrenaline, a hormone the body secretes in stressful situations. This medication is used to stop a serious allergic reaction that could lead to anaphylactic shock. It is therefore an emergency treatment.
How do you get an epinephrine auto-injector?
Epinephrine auto-injectors are sold in pharmacies. Although generally prescribed by a doctor, they can be bought without a prescription. Ask your pharmacist.
Two concentrations of epinephrine
Epinephrine auto-injectors come in two different concentrations:
When your child’s weight passes the 20-kg mark, it is important to weigh him or her regularly so you start using an adult auto-injector as soon as needed. Your doctor may recommend your child transition from the junior to the adult auto-injector before he or she reaches 30 kg.
Auto-injector: A device that’s easy to use
Epinephrine is a liquid that is injected. For easy administration, either by the person with the allergies or a family member, the medication is sold in a device that contains the exact dose and requires very little manipulation.
Even if the device is designed to be very easy to use, it’s still a good idea to practice on a training device. By practicing without the medication or needle, you’ll be ready if ever an emergency does occur.
Your pharmacist will be happy to show you how to use an auto-injector. To practice at home, you can also order a starter kit (with a training device) on the manufacturer’s website.
For the Epipen© auto-injector, the injection occurs in two steps:
The device is designed to hide the needle after injection to avoid accidental puncture.
Conservation and expiry date
Injectable medication, like epinephrine, are sensitive to variations in temperature. It should therefore be protected from freezing and extreme heat, as these are likely to affect the medication’s efficacy. For example, don’t leave your auto-injector in the car in summer or winter.
It is also important to check the auto-injector’s expiration date and replace it when necessary. This date is generally just a month and a year (for example, JN/19 for June 2019), and the medication is considered stable until the last day of the month. Of course, the medication does not become inactive overnight, but the longer the time from the expiration date, the greater the risk the medication is less effective.
Services at your pharmacy
If you have questions or concerns about using the epinephrine auto-injector, or about its availability, please consult your family pharmacist. He or she can provide you with the information you need and answer your questions.
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.