A resource for young adults living with severe allergy

What do you want to know

Using Your EpiPen®

Top Tips For Using Your Epipen

  1. Practice using your EpiPen trainer device regularly.
  2. Your ASCIA Action Plan will guide you about when and how to use your EpiPen.
  3.  If you have ANY one of the signs of anaphylaxis – use your EpiPen.
  4. If in doubt – use your EpiPen.
"Always keep your EpiPens with you."

WHEN TO USE AN EPIPEN

Knowing how and when to use the EpiPen is something many people struggle with.

If you are experiencing one or more of the following signs of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) – use your EpiPen.

  • Difficult/noisy breathing
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Swelling/tightness in throat
  • Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
  • Wheeze or persistent cough
  • Persistent dizziness or collapse
  • Pale and floppy (young children)
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting after an insect bite or sting

Using an EpiPen is your best chance of reversing anaphylaxis.

USING AN EPIPEN ANIMATION

How does adrenaline work?

 

USED YOUR EPIPEN – WHAT NEXT?

Lie down. Do not walk or stand.

If you’re finding it hard to breathe, sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Do not stand up.

Why should I lie down?

Call an ambulance (dial triple zero). Tell them you are having an anaphylactic reaction and have administered your EpiPen.

Remember, you can use a second EpiPen after 5 minutes if you still feel faint, have difficulty breathing or don’t feel better after the first EpiPen.

Go to the hospital by ambulance. Do not walk to the ambulance – ask for a stretcher. If you walk, there is a risk that your blood pressure will suddenly drop, causing you to feel even more unwell and possibly collapse.

You should be observed in hospital for at least 4 hours as you may require further adrenaline doses or additional medical support. Some people feel better after giving the EpiPen but then suddenly become unwell again, even a couple of hours later. This is called a ‘biphasic reaction’.

Before leaving hospital, make sure you get a prescription for new EpiPens and stay with family or friends for the next day or two.

Once recovered, go and see your allergist to discuss the cause of your reaction and how you managed the emergency.

CARRYING YOUR EPIPEN

Handbags, man bags, bum bags, school bags or small backpacks are all great ways to carry both of your EpiPensand ASCIA Action Plan.

Alternatively you can buy a waist belt for under your shirt, or a leg holster for around your ankle.

It is important to note that EpiPens should be stored at room temperature (around 25°C) and keeping your EpiPens in the heat may affect the adrenaline and reduce its effectiveness.

This means that you should not leave your EpiPens in the sun for extended periods of time, or in a car. If you have a job that requires you to be in the sun most of the day, we suggest storing your EpiPens in an isothermic pouch. The pouch will keep your EpiPensat the required temperature. These can be purchased here

"Always keep your EpiPens with you."