Epinephrine Injection: The quick, easy-to-use shot that could save lives.

Epinephrine Injection Infographic: The quick shot that could save lives

This information has been reviewed and approved by Allidah Poole Hicks, RN, AE-C, MS (July 2014).

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Summary: Epinephrine Injection: The quick, easy-to-use shot that could save lives.

What Is Epinephrine?

It treats severe or life-threatening allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can occur after exposure to allergens such as:

  • Food (like milk, eggs, shellfish and peanuts)

  • Insect stings

  • Latex

  • Medications

 

When to Use an Epinephrine Injection

During severe allergic symptoms including:

  • Difficulty swallowing or drooling because you can't swallow

  • Difficulty breathing, chest pains or tightness

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Persistent diarrhea

 

How to Use an Epinephrine Injector*

  1. Grip the epinephrine pen firmly and remove safety cap.

  2. Swing and push the pen into the middle of the outer thigh at a 90° angle.

  3. Keep the pen pressed firmly against the thigh for 10 seconds.

  4. Remove the pen and massage the injection area.

*Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the specific injector you are using.

 

After Use

  • Get emergency medical help right away

  • Make sure a second injection is nearby; if symptoms continue or come back within 10-15 minutes, you may need another dose

  • Take (or give your child) an antihistamine

 

Types of Epinephrine

Common brands include:

  • EpiPen® Auto-Injector

  • EpiPen® Jr. Auto-Injector

  • Adrenaclick® Auto-Injector

  • Auvi-QAuto-Injector

Tips

  • Carry your epinephrine with you at all times

  • Carry an extra does for severe reactions

  • You can inject through your clothing

 

More Information on Epinephrine

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