Epinephrine (Injection)


Epinephrine (ep-i-NEF-rin)

Treats severe allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) in an emergency situation.

Brand Name(s)

Epipen 2-Pak Auto-Injector, Epipen Jr 2-Pak Auto-Injector, Twinject, Auvi-Q, Adrenalin Chloride, Epi-Pen, EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector, EpiPen Auto-Injector, Epipen, Adrenalin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

A severe allergic reaction can be life-threatening, so there is no reason this medicine should not be used.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your health caregiver should teach you how and when to inject this medicine. The shot should be given in the upper leg, on the outside of your thigh.
  • You should give yourself a shot right away if you start to have a severe allergic reaction.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine comes in an autoinjector syringe and needle kit that contains the correct dose of medicine your doctor has prescribed for you.
  • This medicine might come with an autoinjector trainer and separate trainer instructions for use. Practice first with your autoinjector trainer before you have an allergy emergency to make sure you are ready to use the real autoinjector. The EpiPen® autoinjector trainer is gray and does not contain any medicine or needle.
  • Do not remove the blue safety release on the autoinjector until you are ready to use it.
  • You may need to use more than one injection if your allergic reaction does not get better after the first shot.
  • Inject this medicine into the muscle on the outside of your thigh only. Never inject this medicine into a vein, into your hand or foot, or into the muscles of your buttocks.
  • You may inject the medicine through your clothing, if you need to.
  • Some liquid will remain in the autoinjector after the medicine has been injected. This medicine cannot be reused. Throw away the autoinjector after you have used it.
  • Carry this medicine with you at all times for emergency use in case you have a severe allergic reaction.
  • Make sure family members or other people you are with know how to inject the medicine in case you are not able to do it yourself.
  • Check your injection kits regularly to make sure the liquid has not changed color. You should not use the autoinjector if the liquid has changed color, or if there are solids in the liquid. You should not use the autoinjector if the expiration date has passed.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the injection kit at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not store the medicine in the refrigerator or freezer or inside a car.
  • Keep the autoinjector in its case or carrier tube to protect from damage. This tube is not waterproof. If you accidentally drop it, check for damage or leaks.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a heart rhythm medicine (such as amiodarone, digoxin, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, quinidine, Digitek®, Lanoxin®, Norpace®, Tambocor®, Tikosyn®), a diuretic medicine (water pill, such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, torsemide, Lasix®), or certain blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, Bystolic®, Tenormin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using levothyroxine (Levoxyl®, Synthroid®), phentolamine, an MAO inhibitor (MAOI, such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, doxepin, nortriptyline, Elavil®), certain allergy medicines (such as chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, tripelennamine, Benadryl®, Chlor-Trimeton®), or ergot medicines (such as ergotamine, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Wigraine®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, or Parkinson disease.
  • A severe allergic reaction is a medical emergency. Go to an emergency room as soon as possible, even if you feel better after you use this medicine.
  • Older adults and children are more likely to have side effects from this medicine. However, the allergic reaction could be life-threatening and should be treated even at the risk of side effects.
  • This medicine may affect blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes.
  • Do not inject this medicine into your hands or feet. Go to the emergency room right away if you accidently inject epinephrine into any part of you body other than your upper leg. Epinephrine reduces blood flow, and this could damage areas that have small blood vessels, such as hands and feet.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Chest pain
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Heavy sweating, nausea, vomiting
  • Tremors, shakiness
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Feeling anxious, nervous, scared, or weak
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Pale skin

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

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