Why Should You Use an Epinephrine Auto-Injector?
Allergies have recently been one of the most commonly occurring disorder. While some people still consider allergies as something not so serious, their symptoms can be really dangerous and even life-threatening. People with a history of severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis are recommended to always carry an epinephrine auto-injector, in case of an emergency.
An injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) is a part of an immediate treatment of anaphylactic reaction. The medication should be administered, as soon as the first sign of a severe reaction appears. People with a history of anaphylaxis are at a higher risk of developing it again, as well as people with asthma.
However, according to many doctors working with allergies, many allergic people are unprepared for an emergency.
What Are the Recent Findings?
A recent study shows that more than half of Americans with severe allergies didn’t use EpiPen or any other epinephrine auto-injector during their allergic reactions. The study involved more than 900 adults with a history of anaphylaxis and those at a high risk for such a reaction.
Among these people, 89 percent have their prescription for EpiPen filled, while 45 percent didn’t use it during their most recent anaphylactic reaction. As much as 21 percent of people responding didn’t know well how to use an auto-injector. What is more, 78 percent of the focus group had experienced a severe allergic reaction requiring hospitalization before.
Around a half of the people participating in the study said that they always had an auto-injector in a 5-minute access, while 44 percent carried one with themselves. Less than 25 percent of the respondents were used to carrying more than one auto-injector.
Experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommend always carrying an epinephrine auto-injector to anyone who has been prescribed one. Carrying two auto-injectors may be required, when a reaction recurs.
Why Don’t People Use an EpiPen?
There are various factors that prevent people from having an EpiPen or another auto-injector at hand in any occasion. These factors include cost issues, inconvenient, lack of training and knowledge concerning the use of allergy medication.
Thus, the most commonly used epinephrine auto-injector called EpiPen reached the price of $600 in 2016. There is also a generic auto-injector available on the market that costs $300. The generic version was released as a result of the public outcry related to the high cost of EpiPen.
According to specialists, their patients are often not able to afford an auto-injector because of the high expenses, insurance problems, or not having an insurance coverage.
Apart from cost issues, other factors that keep many people from using the device include intermittent use and lack of understanding why the medication is needed. When the auto-injector is not used frequently, people sometimes fail to remember how to use it properly and often forget to carry the device with them. However, keep in mind this may lead to dangerous and even life-threatening consequences.
There are different brands of these devices, and some patients are just not as familiar with certain brands as they are with others. Besides, people with allergies believe that many public places have an auto-injector available at hand in case of an emergency, which is a common mistake.
If you don’t have a history of severe allergic reactions, you may think that there is no reason to worry and prepare yourself for a life-threatening attack. But when it comes to allergies, subsequent reactions are often more severe than previous ones and they can potentially lead to anaphylaxis. Therefore, it is important to understand the risks and be prepared.
The Bottom Line
The tips below can help you be more responsible toward your allergy.
The first thing you should do is understand why your doctor prescribed you epinephrine. If you have any question, consult with the doctor.
Make sure you know well when and how to use the auto-injector. Again, consult with your doctor or pharmacist and ask them to educate you on this device.
Take an epinephrine auto-injector wherever and whenever you go. This may save your life in case of an emergency.
Talk to your insurance company about the possibilities of the epinephrine auto-injector supply and choose the option most suitable for you.