EPIPEN (Epinephrine)
EPIPEN (Epinephrine)
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EPIPEN (Epinephrine)

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What is this medication?

EPIPEN (Epinephrine)
Alpha/Beta Agonist

EPIPEN (Epinephrine) is indicated for the management of hypersensitivity reaction, shock/hypotension (may also be used for conditions not listed).

How does this medication work? 

EPIPEN (Epinephrine) stimulates alpha-, beta1-, and beta2-adrenergic receptors resulting in relaxation of smooth muscle of the bronchial tree, cardiac stimulation (increasing myocardial oxygen consumption), and dilation of skeletal muscle vasculature; small doses can cause vasodilation via beta2-vascular receptors; large doses may produce constriction of skeletal and vascular smooth muscle.

How should I take this medication? 

IM: Inject 0.2 to 0.5 mg or 0.01 mg/kg (maximum dose: 0.5 mg) intramuscularly.

Note: Shock/hypovolemia dosing in practice does not necessarily match manufacturer suggested dosages.

How to Take: IM administration in the anterolateral aspect of the middle third of the thigh is preferred in the setting of.  Administer through clothing if necessary. Although the manufacturers of auto-injectors recommend varying lengths of time for holding the device in the thigh (range: 2 to 10 seconds), longer times have occasionally resulted in injury. For all devices, the needle should remain in the thigh for the least amount of time as possible. With nearly every device, the full dose is delivered within 3 seconds. For EpiPen, holding the device against the leg followed by removing the cap and then compressing has been described for easier administration. Never reinsert needles.  Do not administer repeated injections at the same site. Do not inject into the buttocks or into digits, hands, or feet.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting EPIPEN (Epinephrine), make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypovolemia, Parkinson disease, pheochromocytoma, thyroid disease, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.  Use has been associated with cardiac effects (precipitate angina symptoms), pulmonary edema, decreased urine output, but this should not deter use in an emergency.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Dizziness, muscle tremors, loss of skin color, headache, heart throbbing/pounding, nausea, vomiting, nervousness, generalized weakness, anxiety, fast heartbeat.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for EPIPEN (Epinephrine), only common ones.