An epinephrine autoinjector is used to treat a severe allergic reaction or to prevent anaphylactic shock caused by stinging insects, foods, latex, medications or other allergens.
Find out more about anaphylaxis.
This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI
If you have a severe allergy and carry epinephrine, it is important to know that each brand functions a little differently. The stress of an anaphylactic reaction is not the time to realize you have a different autoinjector than what was demonstrated to you by your allergist.
There are several readily available brands of epinephrine autoinjectors: EpiPen®, Auvi-Q® and Adrenaclick®. There is also an authorized generic of Adrenaclick® called epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector. As generics are sometimes substituted for brand names, it is possible that a generic autoinjector would be substituted at the pharmacy for the brand your physician prescribed. Although the medication is the same, the method for injecting it is different for each brand. Your physician or his/her staff will provide training on how to use the specific brand prescribed.
The next time you pick up your prescription, be sure to compare the brand and dose you received with the brand you have been trained to use. If the medication appears to be different than what you expected, find out why a substitution was made. Also, be sure to get a demonstration on how to use the product.
Your pharmacist and your doctor’s office want to make sure you know how to use the autoinjector in an emergency, so ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. If you have additional concerns, contact your allergist for more information.
To the Point
Be sure to discuss your prescription with your allergist and pharmacist so you know exactly which brand of epinephrine autoinjector you are receiving and how to use it.