Epinephrine (Injection)

Introduction

Epinephrine (ep-i-NEF-rin)

Treats a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in an emergency situation.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Epipen 2-Pak Auto-Injector, Epipen Auto-Injector, Epipen Jr 2-Pak Auto-Injector, Epipen Jr Auto-Injector, Twinject, Adrenalin Chloride, Adrenaclick, Epi-Pen, Epipen, Epi-Pen Jr, Adrenalin

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Because anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) can be life-threatening, there is no reason this medicine should not be used to treat a person with anaphylaxis.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • This medicine is prescribed for people who have a history of severe allergic reaction to insect bites, foods, drugs, or other allergens, as well as anaphylaxis triggered by exercise. You should give yourself the auto-injector right away if you start to have a severe allergic reaction.
  • When your doctor first prescribes this medicine, you will be taught how and where to inject it in case of a severe allergic reaction.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine comes in an auto-injector syringe and needle kit that contains the correct dose of medicine your doctor has prescribed for you.
  • Do not remove the activation cap on the auto-injector until you are ready to use it.
  • You may need to use more than one injection if your allergic reaction does not get better after the first shot.
  • NEVER inject this medicine into a vein or into the muscles of your buttocks. Inject this medicine ONLY into the muscle on the outside of your thigh. You may inject the medicine through your clothing, if you need to.
  • Some liquid will remain in the auto-injector after the medicine has been injected. This medicine cannot be reused. Throw away the auto-injector after you have used it.
  • Carry this medicine with you at all times for emergency use in case you have a severe allergic reaction.
  • Make sure family members or other people you are with know how to inject the medicine in case you are unable to do it yourself during an allergic reaction.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the injection kits at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not store the medicine in the refrigerator or freezer. Keep the auto-injector in the tube it came in.
  • Check your injection kits regularly to make sure the liquid has not changed color. You should not use the auto-injector if the liquid has changed color, or if there are solids in the liquid. You should not use the auto-injector if the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a heart rhythm medicine, such as digoxin, quinidine, Digitek®, or Lanoxin®. Another name for digoxin is digitalis. Let your doctor know if you are also using any diuretic medicines ("water pills").
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using an MAO inhibitor (MAOI), such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®, or if you are also using a tricyclic antidepressant, such as amitriptyline, doxepin, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, or Sinequan®.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Before you use this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you have diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Make sure your doctor knows if you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) is a medical emergency. Go to an emergency room as soon as possible, even if you feel better after using this medicine.
  • Side effects from this medicine may be more likely to happen in older adults and in children. However, the allergic reaction could be life-threatening and should be treated even at the risk of side effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Chest pain.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heart beat.
  • Trouble breathing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Feeling unusually anxious, nervous, scared, or weak.
  • Headache.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Lightheadedness, or dizziness.
  • Nausea, or vomiting.
  • Pale skin.
  • Shaking.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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