When to use epipen - EN

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When to use EpiPen®

If you have been prescribed EpiPen®, you should carry it with you at all times... and use it immediately at the first signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

In a severe allergic emergency, quick symptom recognition and immediate treatment are vital.

The symptoms of a severe allergic reaction occur suddenly within minutes or several hours after exposure to an allergy trigger:

Signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction

x-ray image of the mouth area


Swelling of the lips or tongue,
metallic taste, itching
x-ray image of the throat area


Swelling, itching, difficulty swallowing
A cross-section of the skin


Swelling around the eyes, hives,
flushing, itching, redness, paleness
x-ray image of the intestinal tract


Cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
x-ray image of lungs


Difficulty breathing, wheeze, cough
x-ray image of the heart


Increased heart rate, decreased
blood pressure, chest pain, irregular heartbeat


Sudden feeling of weakness, feeling faint, anxiety or an overwhelming sense of doom, collapse, loss of consciousness

* Some symptoms can be life-threatening. EpiPen® is not indicated to prevent death associated with anaphylaxis.

Although severe allergic reactions can vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are swelling and hives.

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When to use EpiPen®

Every second counts.

Within minutes, an allergic reaction may turn into a life-threatening severe allergic reaction. Sometimes the reaction can occur in two phases, with another reaction occurring up to 38 hours after the initial reaction. Patients should seek medical care (call 911) immediately after experiencing a severe allergic reaction. 

The most dangerous symptoms are low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness, all of which can be fatal.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction, it is generally better to use EpiPen®.

Using epinephrine (the medicine in EpiPen®) immediately after exposure to an allergy trigger can help reverse the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction until you can get medical help… and could help save a life.

Don’t hesitate: Any delay in responding to a severe allergic reaction can be life-threatening.

Anaphylaxis and asthma: Treatment considerations.

Having asthma—especially if it’s uncontrolled—puts you at higher risk of breathing difficulties during a severe allergic reaction.

EpiPen® is the first-line emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions even if you have asthma.

EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® contain metabisulphite, which can cause allergic reactions and bronchospasms in those with a history of asthma. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully on when you or your child can use EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®.

EpiPen® is not indicated to prevent death associated with anaphylaxis. Because anaphylaxis is a generalized reaction, a wide variety of clinical signs and symptoms may be observed.

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