Epinephrine (By injection)
Treats severe allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) in an emergency situation.
Adrenaclick, Adrenalin, EPINEPHrinesnap, EPIsnap, EpiPen, EpiPen Auto-Injector, EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector, Epipen 2-Pak Auto-Injector, Epipen Jr 2-Pak Auto-Injector, NovaPlus Epinephrine
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor should teach you how and when to inject this medicine. Each injection kit contains a single-use dose of medicine prescribed for you.
- Give yourself a shot right away if you start to have a severe allergic reaction.
- 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.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- This medicine might come with an autoinjector trainer so you can practice giving the medicine before you have an actual allergic reaction. The autoinjector trainer is gray (for EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®) or beige (for Adrenaclick®) and does not contain any medicine or needle.
- Do not remove the blue safety release (EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®) or the gray end caps (Adrenaclick®) on the autoinjector until you are ready to use it. Do not put your thumb, fingers, or hand over the orange (EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®) or red tip (Adrenaclick®).
- You may need to use more than one injection if your allergic reaction does not get better after the first shot. Your doctor will give you additional doses if you need more than 2 injections.
- 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. Give your used autoinjector to your healthcare provider when you seek medical care.
- 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.
- If you are using the epinephrine injection in a child, make sure to hold his leg firmly in place and limit movement before and during an injection.
- 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 it from damage. This tube is not waterproof. If you accidentally drop it, check for damage or leaks.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some foods and medicines can affect how epinephrine works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
- Digoxin, levothyroxine, phentolamine
- Blood pressure medicine
- Certain allergy medicines (including chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, tripelennamine)
- Diuretic (water pill)
- Ergot medicines
- Medicine for depression (including MAO inhibitor)
- Medicine for heart rhythm problem
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have asthma, 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.
- 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 your body other than your thigh. Epinephrine reduces blood flow, and this could damage areas that have small blood vessels, such as hands and feet.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
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
- Pain, redness, or warmth at the injection site
- Tremors, shakiness
- Trouble breathing
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Feeling anxious, nervous, scared, or weak
- Headache 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
- Last reviewed on 10/12/2016
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