Antihistamine or epinephrine?

Antihistamines are commonly used for treating hives or other skin symptoms, but they do not treat the life‑threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis (Here are some of the symptoms to watch for). According to National Food Allergy Guidelines, epinephrine is the only recommended first‑line treatment for anaphylaxis. Epinephrine is the medication in EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injectors and their authorized generics.

Anaphylaxis is unpredictable.

In addition, the severity, progression, and duration of the symptoms of anaphylaxis are inconsistent and unpredictable. It is important to talk to your healthcare professional about your risks.

Vigilance is essential.

Because of this unpredictability, it's crucial for parents and caregivers of children living with potentially life-threatening, or severe, allergies—as well as adults with severe allergies—to be vigilant. Avoiding known allergens is the only way to help prevent anaphylaxis. Do everything possible to avoid your allergens.

- Make sure that family members, school personnel, babysitters or anyone else who may be responsible for the care of your child or children with severe allergies knows what allergens need to be avoided

- When cooking and preparing food take steps to avoid allergens

- Plan ahead when eating out or traveling - inform restaurants and airlines about any known allergens and ask about their food allergy policy

Talk to a healthcare professional about how to identify the signs and symptoms of a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

Recognize the symptoms that might occur.

Anaphylaxis is a severe or potentially life‑threatening allergic reaction that occurs very quickly—even as fast as within a couple of minutes of exposure to an allergen.

What should you do?

If you, your child or someone you're caring for shows signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis, administer EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® Auto‑Injector or their authorized generics immediately and seek emergency medical care.

Acting fast can make a difference.

In all cases of anaphylaxis, prompt assessment and treatment are critical. Epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. If you suspect you're having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), don't hesitate to use an epinephrine auto-injector and immediately seek emergency medical care.

What should I tell my doctor before using EpiPen®, EpiPen Jr® or their authorized generics?

Before you use EpiPen®, EpiPen Jr® or their authorized generics, tell your healthcare professional about all your medical conditions, but especially if you have heart problems or high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, asthma, a history of depression, or Parkinson’s disease; have any other medical conditions; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.Especially tell your healthcare professional if you take certain asthma medicines.

Use your brand or generic EpiPen® Auto-Injector in the event of an anaphylactic emergency as prescribed by your healthcare professional, regardless of medical conditions or medication. People with certain medical conditions have a higher chance of having serious side effects from EpiPen® or its authorized generic.

Next: What Is Epinephrine?

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Antihistamines are not recommended for the life-threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis.

Learn why »

More IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (the following information applies to both Epipen and its Authorized Generic)

Use EpiPen® (epinephrine injection, USP) 0.3 mg or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) 0.15 mg Auto-Injectors right away when you have an allergic emergency (anaphylaxis). Get emergency medical help right away. You may need further medical attention. Only a healthcare professional should give additional doses of epinephrine if you need more than two injections for a single anaphylactic episode. EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® should only be injected into the middle of your outer thigh (upper leg), through clothing if necessary. Do not inject into your veins, buttocks, fingers, toes, hands or feet. Hold the leg of young children firmly in place before and during injection to prevent injuries. In case of accidental injection, please seek immediate medical treatment.

Rarely, patients who have used EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® may develop an infection at the injection site within a few days. Some of these infections can be serious. Call your healthcare professional right away if you have any of the following at an injection site: redness that does not go away, swelling, tenderness, or the area feels warm to the touch.

Tell your healthcare professional about all of your medical conditions, especially if you have asthma, a history of depression, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems, have any other medical conditions, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Be sure to also tell your healthcare professional all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. If you have certain medical conditions, or take certain medicines, your condition may get worse or you may have longer lasting side effects when you use EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®.

Common side effects include fast, irregular or “pounding” heartbeat, sweating, nausea or vomiting, breathing problems, paleness, dizziness, weakness, shakiness, headache, feelings of over excitement, nervousness or anxiety. These side effects usually go away quickly if you lie down and rest. Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Indications (the following information applies to both Epipen and its Authorized Generic)

EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr®  Auto-Injectors are for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers; and for people who are at increased risk for these reactions. EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® are intended for immediate administration as emergency supportive therapy only. Seek immediate emergency medical help right away.

Please see the full Prescribing Information and Patient Information for EpiPen.

Please see the full Prescribing Information and Patient Information for the Authorized Generic for EpiPen.

For additional information please contact us at 800-796-9526.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

EpiPen® & EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injectors 0.3/0.15mg

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Prescribing Information