How to use EpiPen®

How to use EpiPen®

When your doctor prescribes EpiPen®, you must make sure you understand the reason it has been prescribed for you. You should be confident that you know exactly how to use the device. Always use this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. If you are at all unsure about how to use it, ask to have the instructions repeated by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.4

EpiPen® is designed as an emergency treatment. You should always get medical help immediately after using EpiPen®,  even if your 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.4 It is recommended that your family members, carers or teachers are also instructed in the correct use of EpiPen®.4

For training and demonstration purposes, an EpiPen® training device (without drug and without a needle) is available. The training device and the active EpiPen® Auto-Injector should not be routinely carried together in order to avoid confusion in an emergency situation.4

The patient/carer should be aware that following each use of EpiPen®:1

  • They should call for immediate medical assistance, dial 112, ask for an ambulance and state “anaphylaxis” even if symptoms appear to be improving

  • While waiting for the ambulance, conscious patients should lie down with your feet raised unless this makes you breathless in which case you should sit up. Unconscious patients should be placed on their side in the recovery position.

  • Patients should remain with another person until medical assistance arrives. Ask someone to stay with you until the ambulance arrives in case you feel unwell again.

Using your EpiPen® is easy, especially if you practise using your Trainer Pen. Familiarise yourself with these simple steps and watch the demonstration video so you are clear about what to do in an emergency.

There is no need to remove clothing to use your EpiPen®, but make sure the orange end does not hit buckles, zips, buttons or thick seams on your clothes.

To remove EpiPen® from the carry case. Flip open the lid on the carry case. Tip the carry case and slide the EpiPen® out of the carry case.

Lie down with your legs slightly elevated to keep your blood flowing or sit up if breathing is difficult.

1. Grasp EpiPen® in dominant hand (the hand you use to write), with thumb nearest blue cap and form fist around unit (orange tip down). 

2. With other hand pull of blue safety cap

3. Hold the EpiPen® in a distance of approximately 10 cm away from the outer thigh. The orange tip should point towards the outer thigh.

4. Jab the EpiPen® firmly into outer thigh at a right angle (90 degree angle) (listen for click).

5. Hold firmly against thigh for 10 seconds. The injection is now complete and the viewing window on the Auto-Injector is obscured.

6. EpiPen® should be removed (the orange needle cover will extend to cover needle) and safely discarded.

Massage the injection area for 10 seconds. Dial 112, ask for ambulance, state anaphylaxis.

Do not get up, stay lying down or seated until you have been assessed by a paramedic.

Each EpiPen® can only be used once.

Sometimes a single dose of adrenaline may not be sufficient to completely reverse the effects of a serious allergic reaction. For this reason, your doctor is likely to prescribe more than one EpiPen® or you. If your symptoms have not improved or have deteriorated within 5-15 minutes after the first injection, either you or the person with you should give a second EpiPen® injection. For this reason you should carry more than one EpiPen® with you at all times.4

"You must call 112, ask for an ambulance and state 'anaphylaxis'."

Stay lying down or seated and have someone stay with you until you have been assessed by a paramedic. Unconscious patients should be placed in the recovery position.

1. Epipen SPC
4. EpiPen Patient Information Leaflet

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