No EpiPen? No Need To Panic

Chris Sommer
August 17, 2018 - 5:52 pm
Healthcare, Doctor

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DALLAS (KRLD) - With the kids returning to school, some parents are scrambling to find the EpiPen.

Mylan's auto-injector device used to treat severe allergic reactions has been in short supply for several months.  But a Dallas doctor says there are alternatives that are easy-to-find, and work just as well.

Methodist Dallas Medical Center Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist Dr. Rajiv Pandit said, "For many years, EpiPen was our only option, but there are other products that are now currently available.  The most important to do is when you get a prescription for one of these products, instead of having it written for 'EpiPen," have it written for an 'epinephrine auto-injector.'  When you write it that way, it's for a generic, and that gives the pharmacist the opportunity to select one of the other products that are now available."

There are a couple of alternative injector pens to look for.  Dr. Pandit said, "We have a product called Adrenaclick that is available.  We have a product called Auvi-Q that is available.  They're all a little bit different in how they work.  They don't work exactly like the EpiPen, so it's very important that if you get one of these other products - which work just as well - that you take the time to understand how to use them, just as you would for the EpiPen."

Dr. Pandit said parents should never send their allergic child to school without one of the devices.  And, if you are really in a pinch, check to see if you have any older devices in reserve.  He said, "The very last resort to consider, if you cannot get hold of a device, but you have your old EpiPen device, many studies have shown that they are still 80-90% effective after the expiration date, as long as the window shows the product is not discolored."

Just this week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new generic EpiPen made by Teva, although that product is not yet readily available.

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