Someone is sent to the emergency room every three minutes because of food allergy reaction. Severe allergic reactions are serious, and the knowledge of how to use an EpiPen can save someone’s life.

An EpiPen is known as what’s called an auto-injector and uses epinephrine in order to treat a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. There are a number of things that can cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, but the three most common are food, bee stings, and medication.

To make sure that you’re ready in the event that you’re with someone who has a severe allergic reaction, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide on what to do.

How To Use An EpiPen

Know the Signs

First of all, you should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.

  1. Red, or flushed skin
  2. Body rash, or hives
  3. Swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth, throat, or face
  4. Wheezing, or difficulty breathing
  5. Weakened pulse
  6. Fast heartbeat
  7. Vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea
  8. Dizziness, unconsciousness, or fainting
  9. Confusion

If you’re unsure about the person’s condition, check to see if they have a medical ID on them.

Administer the EpiPen

Take the EpiPen out of its tube and follow these steps:

  1. Firmly hold the EpiPen and remove the blue cap. This is the safety cap that prevents the auto-injector from accidentally activating.
    • Avoid touching the orange end of the EpiPen. Once it has been triggered it can’t be used again.
  2. Place the orange tip on the person’s outer thigh and press firmly until you’ve heard and felt a click. This means the needle has entered the thigh.
    • It is important to only inject the EpiPen into the thigh, and nowhere else.
  3. Hold the EpiPen in place for about three seconds.
  4. Remove the EpiPen and massage the area where it injected for about 10 seconds.
    • The orange cap will extend to cover the needle once it’s been released to avoid exposure.

What To Do Next

Anaphylaxis is considered a “treat first” condition because it is such a severe and life-threatening condition. Once you have finished with the injection, call emergency services.

Someone who has just had a severe allergic reaction should always be taken to see a doctor, even if they seem fine. There is always the risk of another round of anaphylaxis, which could be fatal if not treated.

If the person you are treating doesn’t seem to get any better within fifteen minutes of using the auto-injector, repeat the process on their opposite thigh with a second EpiPen. EpiPens come in packs of two for cases like this.

Always Be Prepared

A severe allergic reaction can be frightening for the person having the reaction and those around them. But if you know what to look for and how to help, you’ll be prepared to help someone when they really need it.

That’s why we provide you with information like this on how to use an EpiPen and more so that you can be confident in your prescription drugs and their applications.

If you want to know anything more about any medications or find where you can order your prescriptions for EpiPens and more at the cheapest price, we are your trusted resource for all your pharmacy needs.