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Drugs & Medications

EpiPen injection

GENERIC NAME(S): EPINEPHRINE

Uses

This medication is used in emergencies to treat very serious allergic reactions to insect stings/bites, foods, drugs, or other substances. Epinephrine acts quickly to improve breathing, stimulate the heart, raise a dropping blood pressure, reverse hives, and reduce swelling of the face, lips, and throat.

How to use EpiPen injection

Keep this product near you at all times. (See also Storage section).

Different brands of this medication have different directions for preparing and using the injector. Learn how to properly inject this medication in advance so you will be prepared when you actually need to use it. Also teach a family member or caregiver what to do if you cannot inject the medication yourself. Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you have to use epinephrine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

The effects of this medication are rapid but not long-lasting. After injecting epinephrine, seek immediate medical attention. Tell the healthcare professional that you have given yourself an injection of epinephrine. Avoid accidentally injecting this medication into your hands or areas of your body other than the thigh. If this occurs, tell the healthcare professional immediately. Discard the injector properly.

The solution in this product should be clear. Check this product visually for particles or discoloration from time to time. If it has turned cloudy or pink/brown in color, do not use the product. Obtain a new supply.

Side Effects

A fast/pounding heartbeat, nervousness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, headache, dizziness, anxiety, shakiness, or pale skin may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: irregular heartbeat.

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, fainting, vision changes, seizures, confusion.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

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

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This product may contain sulfites. However, if you have a sulfite allergy, this should not be a reason for avoiding use of this medication during an emergency. Since epinephrine can be life-saving, using it is more important than avoiding any sulfite-related problems you may experience.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart conditions (e.g., coronary artery disease, arrhythmias), high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially a rapid rise in blood pressure, with increased risk if they also have heart disease.

This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Interactions

Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and will monitor you for them after you receive epinephrine. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: anti-arrhythmic drugs (e.g., amiodarone, quinidine), beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), digoxin, entacapone, ergot alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine), MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine), phenothiazines (e.g., chlorpromazine), thyroid hormones (e.g., levothyroxine), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, doxepin), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide).

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include irregular heartbeat, fainting, vision changes, confusion, seizures.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Store this product in the carrying case/original packaging at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Avoid extreme heat and cold. Do not store this medication in your vehicle or in the bathroom. Do not refrigerate or freeze.

From time to time, check the expiration date, and also check this product visually for particles or discoloration. Replace the unit before it expires or if particles/discoloration are present. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this medication when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your medication.

Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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