What is Epinephrine?
Strong emotions such as anger cause epinephrine, (Adrenalin) a hormone, to be released by the medulla of the adrenal glands into the bloodstream, leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, muscle strength, and carbohydrate metabolism. In medicine, epinephrine is used primarily as a vasoconstrictor in shock, as a stimulant in cardiac arrest, as antispasmodic and bronchodilator in bronchial asthma. The quantity of Epinephrine in the body is low and is important for maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis because of its power to divert blood to tissues under pressure. During cardiac arrest, the top priority is to maximize the quantity of blood flow through the coronary artery. When Epinephrine is injected into an intravenous fluid solution, the pressure of the coronary artery pressure increase thereby promoting increased coronary blood flow. Increased dosages of epinephrine quicken the response, but some surveys have shown that brain and heart damage are some of the side effects.
In emergency medical crisis, epinephrine injection is used to treat severe allergic reactions caused by stings or insect bites, foods, pollen, medications etc.. Epinephrine is in a class of medications called alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonists which perform to relax the muscles in the airways and contracting the blood vessels.
Anaphylactic shock occurs whenever the heart is unable to pump adequate blood to the body, as a result, of an allergy, deteriorating the muscular lining of the heart and contracting the venous blood vessels (vasodilatation). Injecting epinephrine into the blood stream leads to an increase in the of blood flow rate all over the body. The relief epinephrine injection brings is entirely short-term due to the adrenaline short half-life; hence, immediate hospitalization is needed to assure safety of the person. People who are prone to asthma attacks have lung passages that are more susceptible to swelling and inflammation. Such swelling restricts the muscles around the airway tubes and causes an increase in mucus leading to shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing common to those who suffer from asthma. Epinephrine causes instant relief by enlarging the bronchial tubes allowing air to pass through. Epinephrine is only a brief relief when an asthma inhaler is not reachable, and not necessarily the best cure.
Ensure to keep your automatic injection device with you at all times so that could easily inject epinephrine as quickly as possible when attacked by allergy. Take note of the expiry date imprinted on the device and make sure you replace the device when this date is due. Check the solution in the device regularly to either call your doctor or replace when particles or discoloration is noticed.
Although epinephrine injection treats a severe allergic reaction, it cannot be replaced with medical treatment. Medical treatment must be considered immediately after it is injected. Rest quietly while you wait for emergency medical treatment. For one dose of epinephrine, most automatic injection devices can contain enough solution. In severe allergic reaction, a type of an automatic injection device known as ‘twinject’ can be used based on the directions on the package to inject two doses of epinephrine. If the device was prescribed by your doctor, be certain that you know you can inject the second dose and possibly know if you should inject the second dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you or the person who will be injecting the medication how to inject it. Read the instructions to users that come with it before administering epinephrine injection for the first time. This information includes directions for how to use the pre-filled automatic injection device. Adrenaline should be injected only in the middle of the outer side of the thigh, and can be injected through clothing if necessary in a condition of an emergency.
Epinephrine MUST not be injected into the buttocks or any other part of the body.
You should inject epinephrine injection as soon as you suspect that you may be having a severe allergic response. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include closing of the air passages, sneezing, gasping for breath, skin redness, itchiness, swelling, scratching, fast or slow heartbeat, nervousness, confusion, stomach pain etc.. Speak to your physician about these symptoms and be certain you understand how to differentiate when you are experiencing a severe allergic response and should inject epinephrine.
Some drops could remain in the injection device after you have injected a dose of epinephrine injection. This does not require that you use extra liquid. It is very common to have some droplets after use and it doesn’t mean you didn’t get the full dose. Chuck out the remaining liquid and device properly. Remove the used device and take to the emergency room or ask your chemist, pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of used injection devices safely.
An EpiPen is an automatic injector in the United States, including Canada, and as well in the United Kingdom. It is a registered trademark which is owned by the producers, DEY, L.P. The injector is normally held by those who suffer from severe allergic reactions and is applied for the treatment of anaphylactic shock. Putting apart a standard dose of adrenaline (epinephrine) to be self-administered, hence, many people discover themselves in need of an EpiPen carrier. For children, an EpiPen Junior is available, which dispenses the recommended dose for a child under, or about thirty kilograms. Confirm on the package the exact prescribed amount and recommended weight. An adult dosage roughly doubles that of a child, and then the instructions should be strictly adhered to. Carriers are available for adult and child injections.
There are several styles of Epipen Carriers available for youngsters and adults, both male and female. Some are discreetly strapped to the arm or leg. Best for activities and sports, a busy day out, a show or a party. Others look similar to a pen holder or specs case. Choose from classic colouring, adult or child designs. Most of the designs can carry two EpiPen, and some are capable of holding other necessities which might be required in an emergency case.
The Epipen has been in the market for quite a long time. The instructions on it will take you gradually through how to use it. The first thing you do is take away the safety cap which makes it ready for use. When you hold the EpiPen, the position you should hold is with your thumb wrapped around the head or around the side of it. This is very important. It has a spring-loaded needle which is put against the side of the leg of the patient. And when you press it in you’ll hear a click. That will spark off the needle that’s inside of it and they will be thrown in. You should hold it there for L0 or 15 seconds before removing it then rub the place.
The Difference Between EpiPen and EpiPen Jr
Epipen and Epipen Jr are indicated for the immediate treatment of emergency allergic reactions including anaphylaxis to stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets, and biting insects, mosquitoes, and army ant as examples, to allergen immunotherapy, foods, drugs, diagnostic testing devices (e.g., radiocontrast media) and other allergens.
The EpiPen include a single dose of epinephrine (0.3 milligrams), which is suitable for people who weigh more than 66 lbs. The EpiPen Jr. have a lesser quantity of epinephrine (0.15 milligrams).
EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are designed for instant administration in patients found to be at greater risk for anaphylaxis, or individuals with a history of anaphylactic reactions. Anaphylactic reactions may take place within minutes after exposure and consist of restricted pulse associated with convulsions, a drop in blood pressure, vomiting, and abdominal spasms and diarrhoea. Both EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are also designed for instant emergency support therapy only and are not a relief for prompt medical attention.
Prescribed amount and Direction
- Choice of the appropriate dosage strength (EpiPen 0.3 mg or EpiPen Jr 0.15 mg) is limited according to patient body weight.
- Patients whose weights are greater than or equal to 30 kilograms (about 66 pounds or more): EpiPen 0.3mg should be administered.
- Patients between 15 to 30 kg (33-66 lbs): EpiPen Jr 0.15 mg is appropriate.
- Epipen or Epipen Jr should be injected into the subcutaneous layer of the thigh, through clothing if necessary. If administering on young children, their legs should be kept firmly in a position to limit movement during and after injection.
Caution and Safety Measures
- Each EpiPen or Epipen Jr contains a single dose of epinephrine for single-use injection. If doses lower than 0.15 mg are considered necessary, use other forms of epinephrine injections because the doses of epinephrine delivered from EpiPen or EpiPen Jr are fixed.
- The specialist prescribing should carefully evaluate each patient to find the most appropriate dose of epinephrine, making out the serious nature of the reactions for which this drug is designated. With severe persistent anaphylaxis, repeated injections with an extra EpiPen or EpiPen Jr may possibly be required. More than two doses of epinephrine should only be administered sequentially under strict medical supervision.