FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Find an answer to some common questions about (adrenaline) auto-injector.

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  • What is an Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    What is an Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    An Adrenaline Auto-injector contains adrenaline and is only available on prescription from your doctor. It lets you inject an appropriate dose of adrenaline when you are having an anaphylactic reaction, while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

  • How does Adrenaline work?

    How does Adrenaline work?

    Adrenaline is the treatment for anaphylaxis because it quickly starts to sort out the symptoms of anaphylaxis. It narrows your blood vessels so that your blood pressure can start to return to normal and relaxes your lungs and throat so you can breathe more easily.

  • How should I use my Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    How should I use my Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    The EpiPen® user guide page has full instructions. It is best to practise regularly with a training device.

  • Can an Adrenaline Auto-injector be used through clothing?

    Can an Adrenaline Auto-injector be used through clothing?

    Yes, even jeans. Take care to avoid hitting zips, buttons, buckles, seams and pocket contents.

  • After using my Adrenaline Auto-injector what should I do?

    After using my Adrenaline Auto-injector what should I do?

    Your Auto-injector is designed as emergency treatment. You should always get medical help immediately after using your Auto-injector. Dial 112, ask for an ambulance and state “anaphylaxis” even if symptoms appear to be improving.

    You will need to go to hospital for observation and further treatment as required. This is because the reaction may happen again at some time later.

    While waiting for the ambulance you should lie down with your feet raised unless this makes you breathless in which case you should sit up. Ask someone to stay with you until the ambulance arrives in case you feel unwell again.

    Unconscious patients should be placed on their side in the recovery position.

  • There is an “air” bubble in my Adrenaline Auto-injector, is it still OK to use?

    There is an “air” bubble in my Adrenaline Auto-injector, is it still OK to use?

    A small bubble may occur in the Adrenaline Auto-Injector. It has no influence on either the use or the efficacy of the product.

  • When should I use my Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    When should I use my Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    Your doctor or nurse will tell you how to recognise the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.

  • What should I tell family, friends and workmates?

    What should I tell family, friends and workmates?

    Explain what might happen if you go into anaphylaxis – it could help save your life. Tell them the signs and symptoms, where you keep your Adrenaline Auto-injector and how to use it. Show them this website, and how to inject using the trainer pen.

  • How do I dispose of an out-of-date Adrenaline Auto-injector which has not been used?

    How do I dispose of an out-of-date Adrenaline Auto-injector which has not been used?

    Contact your GP surgery or your pharmacist, who will be able to advise you.

  • What do I do if I notice that my Adrenaline Auto-injector is out of date?

    What do I do if I notice that my Adrenaline Auto-injector is out of date?

    Make sure you see your GP or pharmacist as soon as possible to get a new pen.

  • How should I store my Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    How should I store my Adrenaline Auto-injector?

    Adrenaline can be damaged by heat and direct sunlight, so always keep it in its hard carry case and away from very high or low temperatures.

  • Are there any precautions I should take with my Adrenaline Auto-injectors before I go abroad?

    Are there any precautions I should take with my Adrenaline Auto-injectors before I go abroad?

    Make sure that you have enough Adrenaline Auto-injectors with you – it may be difficult and expensive to get replacement pens abroad. Organise this with your GP several weeks before. Airlines will often require a letter from your doctor to allow you to carry your Adrenaline Auto-injector with you onto the aircraft. Click on the link to print off a Travel Certificate for your doctor to fill in – make sure you get it done in good time before you travel. If you have a food allergy, you should also discuss meal options (if provided). Download our translation sheets, which give a number of useful foreign phrases for people who suffer with anaphylaxis, for example ‘I am allergic to peanuts.’ Click on the links to print off the ones for the country you are visiting and take them with you when you go abroad: FrenchGermanItalian and Spanish.

  • I am travelling to a very different climate to Ireland and I wondered if my Adrenaline Auto-injector would still work properly?

    I am travelling to a very different climate to Ireland and I wondered if my Adrenaline Auto-injector would still work properly?

    Adrenaline Auto injectors are sold all over the world and used in a variety of climates very different from ours in Ireland. When travelling abroad, you should take the same care as you would in Ireland and observe the storage recommendations in the package leaflet. Your Adrenaline Auto-injector should never be exposed to direct sunlight or very hot or cold temperatures for prolonged periods, and should never be refrigerated or frozen. It should always be kept in the case provided.