What is this medication for?
Epinephrine belongs to a family of medications called sympathomimetics. These medications resemble chemicals that are normally found in our bodies and are released during stressful situations such as when we are scared, anxious, or angry.
Epinephrine is used for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions to insect bites, insect stings, food or medication as well as other allergens. During a severe allergic reaction, blood pressure can become dangerously low, breathing can become difficult, and the face and throat can swell. Epinephrine works to reverse these effects.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The usual dose of epinephrine is based on your body weight, your risk of experiencing a serious allergic reaction, and your ability to tolerate the medication.
The usual dose for adults is 0.3 mg. For children, the usual dose is 0.01 mg of epinephrine per kg of body weight.
The medication is injected into the thigh with use of a special automatic device that resembles a pen. To use the device, or pen, it must first be activated by removing the gray safety cap. Then, jab the black tip of the pen firmly against the thigh (through clothing if necessary) and hold it there for several seconds. This will activate the plunger and the needle will be pushed into the thigh muscle to inject a dose of epinephrine. There will be some solution remaining in the pen after injection.
Store this medication in its original tube at room temperature, protect it from light, and keep it out of the reach of children. Do not use it if the solution is discolored or has particles in it.
Be sure that you know how to use the pen. If you are not sure, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for a demonstration.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.