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.
EpiPen® is injected through a simple 2-step process:
- 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.
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.
Hold EpiPen® firmly in place for three seconds (count slowly, “1, 2, 3”). This helps to properly deliver your dose of epinephrine.
Yes. If necessary, you can inject EpiPen® through clothing.
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.
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.
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.
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®.
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.
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.
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
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.
In Canada, you can purchase EpiPen® with or without a prescription.
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.
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
Contact us at 1-877-EPIPEN1 (1-877-374-7361), 8:30AM – 4:30PM ET.