4.0 Frequently Asked Question - FAQ

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about EpiPen®.

Frequently
asked questions

When should I inject EpiPen®?

Inject EpiPen® at the first sign or symptom of a severe allergic response to a known or suspected allergen. Severe allergic reactions are not always predictable. Obvious warning signs are not always present before serious reactions occur.

Talk to your doctor if you have a history of severe cardiovascular collapse from exposure to an allergen. They may advise you to inject EpiPen® immediately after exposure, before any reaction has begun.

EpiPen®, when used as directed immediately following exposure to a known allergen, may prove life-saving.

How do I use EpiPen®?

EpiPen® is injected through a simple 2-step process:

<h5><span>Blue</span> to the sky.</h5> <ul> <li><span>Grasp with orange tip pointing downward</span></li> <li><span><strong>Remove blue safety cap by pulling straight up – do not bend or twist</strong></span></li> </ul>
<p><img alt="Image of the blue safety cap being taken off the EpiPen® device, “Blue to the sky”" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="599e4088-6ce7-43ee-9338-b6500a475d02" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/answer-jpg-1.png" /></p>
<h4><span>Orange</span> to the thigh.</h4> <ul> <li><span>Place the orange tip against the middle of the outer thigh</span></li> <li><span><strong>Swing and push the auto-injector firmly into the thigh until it “clicks” </strong></span></li> <li><span>Hold firmly in place for three seconds – count slowly, “1, 2, 3”</span></li> </ul>
<p><img alt="Image of the blue safety cap being taken off the EpiPen® device, “Blue to the sky”" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="82928425-575f-452d-8f71-aff1c994a765" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/answer-jpg-2.png" /></p>
<p><a href="/epipen-video-gallery"><span>Check out videos<br /> on how to use EpiPen<sup>®</sup></span></a></p> <p><a href="/order-your-free-epipen-essential"><span>Get your free EpiPen<sup>®</sup><br /> Training Device</span></a></p>
What should I do after using EpiPen®?
  • Call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately. The effects of epinephrine can wear off, or you could have a second reaction.

Using EpiPen® does not replace seeing a doctor or going to the hospital.

  • Give any used EpiPen® Auto-Injectors to emergency responders or emergency room personnel to discard.
<p><strong>Find these instructions on the barrel of your EpiPen® Auto-Injector or in your Consumer Information Leaflet.</strong></p>
Why should I swing my arm to inject?

Swinging your arm when injecting EpiPen® is recommended to help:

  • Provide enough load on the tip of EpiPen® to deliver an intramuscular injection
  • Provide the ideal angle to inject EpiPen® into the middle of your outer thigh (ie, perpendicular or 90 degrees to the injection site)

You do not need to apply excessive force to the swing, just enough to gain sufficient momentum to ensure the auto-injector deploys.

How many seconds should I hold EpiPen® in place when I inject?

Hold EpiPen® firmly in place for three seconds (count slowly, “1, 2, 3”). This helps to properly deliver your dose of epinephrine.

How do I know if my EpiPen® Auto-Injector has been activated or if I have received my injection?
<p><img alt="EpiPen® indicator window on device after administration" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0b5cb562-3392-4716-ab65-2f9b0e7ca319" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/img1.jpg" /></p>
<ul> <li><span>After you receive your injection, the viewing window on the barrel of your EpiPen® Auto-Injector, which is clear prior to delivery, will appear obscured or shaded.</span></li> <li><span>After you remove EpiPen® from your thigh, the orange needle cover will be extended and locked in place.</span></li> <li><span>A used EpiPen® and its extended needle cover will not fit into the carrier tube.</span></li> </ul>
Can I inject EpiPen® through my clothes?

Yes. If necessary, you can inject EpiPen® through clothing.

What do I do If I accidentally inject EpiPen® into my hand or foot?

Accidental injection into the hands or feet may result in loss of blood flow to the affected areas and should be avoided.

If you accidentally inject EpiPen® into these areas, go to the nearest emergency room immediately for treatment.

How should I dispose of a used EpiPen®?

After using EpiPen®, seek medical attention, and give any used EpiPen® Auto-Injectors to emergency responders or emergency room personnel to discard.

For expired EpiPen®, contact your local pharmacy to assist in disposing the device according to regulations.

What should I do if I accidentally remove the blue safety cap from EpiPen®?

Removing the blue safety cap prepares EpiPen® for activation.

If your EpiPen® Auto-Injector has not been activated (ie, pressed against your thigh), then you can carefully replace the blue safety cap:

  • Keep your fingers away from the orange tip.
  • Gently place your EpiPen® Auto-Injector in its needle-safe carrier tube, making sure the safety release end faces the opening.
  • Secure the blue safety cap back in place.
Do I have to be certified to administer EpiPen® to someone else who is in need of the medication but unable to administer it themselves?

Emergency administration of EpiPen® in the case of a suspected severe allergic reaction does not require certification. Your physician or pharmacist should review the package insert in detail with you or your caregiver to ensure you understand what EpiPen® is for and how to use it.

Actual demonstration of the injection technique by a physician or pharmacist is recommended.

Get your free EpiPen® Training Device to help you, family, and friends practice how to use EpiPen®.

<p><a href="/order-your-free-epipen-essential"><span>Order now </span></a></p>
What are the dosage strengths of EpiPen®?
<p><img alt="EpiPen® Auto-Injector" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="01a4d645-b644-4b7f-bea0-4f43d119e95d" src="/profiles/pfepipen_profile/themes/pfepipen_theme/build/images/packshot-adult.jpg" /></p>
<p><img alt="EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injector" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ea6faef5-57fb-48e4-921a-831d8e98ca9e" src="/profiles/pfepipen_profile/themes/pfepipen_theme/build/images/packshot-kids.jpg" /></p>
<p>For children weighing less than 15 kg, call 911.</p>
How many doses of EpiPen® can be administered?

If you or your child do not feel better or get worse, you can inject another dose of EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® 5 to 15 minutes after the first injection.

Do not inject more than 2 injections right after each other.

Too much epinephrine can cause dangerously high blood pressure, stroke, or death. Signs of an overdose include:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Difficulty breathing caused by a build-up of fluid in your lungs

Call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately after using EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®.

Even if you have sought medical help, stay in close proximity to a hospital or where you can easily call 911 for the next 48 hours.

How do I read the expiry date on EpiPen®?
<p><img alt="EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® devices showing expiry date location" src="/profiles/pfepipen_profile/themes/pfepipen_theme/build/images/epipen-faq-expiration-date.jpg" /></p>
<p>The expiration date is expressed as the month and the last 2 digits of the year. For example, an expiration designation of “Exp: JA 19” indicates that the EpiPen® Auto-Injector expires the last day (31st) of January 2019, thus the expiration date in this example would be January 31, 2019.</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong> Expiration dates on EpiPen® from Canada are different from the U.S. The Canadian product is designed to be "bilingual friendly" (eg, JA = January, MR = March, MA = May).</p>
<p>Each new EpiPen® should have a minimum of 12 months before expiry. If you recently bought an EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® <nobr>Auto-Injector</nobr> that has a shorter expiry date, please talk to your pharmacist.</p>
How do I store EpiPen®?

Storing your EpiPen® Auto-Injector properly can keep it effective and ready to use in the event of a severe allergic reaction:

  • Keep your EpiPen® Auto-Injector at room temperature
    • -Do not refrigerate or freeze
    • -Do not expose to direct sunlight
    • -Do not keep EpiPen® in a vehicle during extremely hot or cold weather
  • Keep your EpiPen® Auto-Injector in its carrier tube to protect it from damage; but remember, the carrier tube is not waterproof
  • Keep the blue safety cap, which helps prevent accidental injection, on until you need to use EpiPen®
  • Do not drop
  • Do not keep folded paper instructions or any other objects in the carrier tube with EpiPen®; they may prevent you from retrieving your auto-injector quickly in a severe allergic emergency

Occasionally inspect the liquid in your EpiPen® Auto-Injector through the viewing window. The solution should always be clear.

What do I do if the liquid in my EpiPen® Auto-Injector is discoloured?

The solution in your EpiPen® Auto-Injector should always be clear. Replace your EpiPen® Auto-Injector if you see:

  • Discoloured or brown solution
  • Solid particles (also called precipitate)
  • Any signs of leakage or damage to the carrier
<p>Ask your pharmacist or physician about how to properly dispose of an EpiPen® Auto-Injector that’s discoloured, used, or expired. Never try taking the auto-injector apart.</p> <p><strong>Always replace your EpiPen® Auto-Injector before the expiration date or after using it.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/epipen-expiry-reminder">Register for EpiPen® expiration reminders</a>.</strong></p>
<p><a href="/epipen-expiry-reminder"><span>Register now </span></a></p>
If I have a latex or sulphite allergy, can I still use EpiPen®?

EpiPen® does not contain latex and can therefore be used by people with latex allergies.

EpiPen® contains sodium metabisulphite, which may cause allergic reactions and bronchospasms in those with a history of asthma.

Epinephrine is the drug of choice for serious allergic reactions and the presence of a sulphite in EpiPen® should not deter you from using EpiPen® in a severe allergic emergency, even if you are sulphite-sensitive.

Can I purchase EpiPen® without a prescription?

In Canada, you can purchase EpiPen® with or without a prescription.

Does EpiPen® fit in carrying cases I can find online?

It is recommended to always carry EpiPen® in the plastic carrier tube provided when it is dispensed at the pharmacy. This carrier tube is designed specifically for EpiPen® and protects the device from UVB, accidental discharge, and damage. However, EpiPen® will fit in most commercially available carrying cases. Please check with manufacturers for updates.

Can I travel with EpiPen®?

If travelling by air, always inform security that you are carrying an EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injector and keep it in your hand luggage. The baggage compartment of the aircraft is not temperature-controlled, so temperatures may not be ideal (25ºC/77ºF) or within the permitted range of 15ºC to 30ºC (59–86ºF).

Carry your EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injector in its original carrier tube. You may also require a pharmacy label that includes the name of the person the pen was prescribed for and the name of the prescribing physician.

When travelling cross-border, please consult Canada Border Services at 1-800-461-9999 or visit their website for the latest information.

Who can I call if I have concerns or product complaints?

Contact us at 1-877-EPIPEN1 (1-877-374-7361), 8:30AM – 4:30PM ET.