Selection of the appropriate dose of epinephrine is determined according to patient body weight and is described in Table 1. Each EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injector contains a single dose of epinephrine. Since the doses of epinephrine delivered from EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injector are fixed, consider using other forms of injectable epinephrine if doses lower than 0.15 mg are deemed necessary. The prescriber should carefully assess each patient to determine the most appropriate dose of epinephrine.1

Table 1. EpiPen® Auto-Injector dosing1

Auto-Injector Epinephrine Concentration Patient Weight
EpiPen® Auto-Injector 0.3 mg (0.3 mL, 1:1000) ≥30 kg (≥66 pounds)
EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injector 0.15 mg (0.3 mL, 1:2000) 15-30 kg (33-66 pounds)

Prescribing EpiPen® Auto-Injector

Nearly half of all anaphylactic reactions occur away from home, so consider the multiple settings where a patient may encounter a life-threatening allergen.2

Learn more about prescribing the Epipen® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injector.

How to use EpiPen® Auto-Injector

It is important to counsel a patient on the correct administration technique for EpiPen® Auto-Injector.1,3-4 (View a step-by-step video and share it with your patients.) It is also important to counsel the patient that other epinephrine auto-injectors look and operate differently from EpiPen® Auto-Injector.5 Dispensing a different auto-injector than what patients are prescribed and trained on could lead to patient confusion, according to Ram et al.6

Order complimentary EpiPen® Trainers to keep in your office or exam room to help train your patients.

To download the Patient Information, including complete directions for use, please click here.

When should epinephrine be administered?

The immediate administration of epinephrine is critical for all patients meeting any of the three criteria outlined in the “Anaphylaxis Diagnosis Criteria” section.7,8 Any delay in treatment increases the risk of a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction or a biphasic reaction in these patients.8,9 Some patients not meeting these criteria may still need an immediate injection.7 For example, patients who have had a previous life-threatening anaphylactic reaction and who are exhibiting signs of even a mild allergic reaction after exposure to a known allergen should receive emergency treatment.7 There are no absolute contraindications to epinephrine administration for an anaphylactic reaction.1,4 It is important to administer epinephrine immediately.8-10

When a second dose of epinephrine may be warranted

In cases of suboptimal response to the initial dose of epinephrine, or if symptoms progress, the NIAID Expert Panel recommends repeat epinephrine dosing as first-line therapy over adjunctive treatments.3

NIAID food allergy guidelines recommend at-risk patients have access to two epinephrine auto-injectors.3 More than two sequential doses of epinephrine should only be administered under medical supervision.1

According to the NIAID food allergy guidelines, there are two reasons that patients should carry 2 doses of their epinephrine auto-injector.3,9

1. 20% of patients may need a second dose due to ongoing symptoms3,8 Epinephrine—first-line treatment
“If a patient responds poorly to the initial dose or has ongoing or progressive symptoms despite initial dosing, repeated dosing may be required after 5 to 15 minutes. Reports of patients receiving epinephrine for food-induced or non-food-induced anaphylaxis note that as high as 10%-20% of individuals who receive epinephrine will require more than 1 dose before recovery of symptoms.” 3

2. 20% of patients may experience a biphasic reaction3

6.2.3 Time course of food-induced anaphylaxis
“A biphasic reaction includes a recurrence of symptoms that develops after apparent resolution of the initial reaction. Biphasic reactions have been reported to occur in 1%-20% of anaphylaxis episodes and typically occur about 8 hours after the first reaction, although recurrences have been reported up to 72 hours later.” 3

Next: Safety and Storage