Overview

Are You at Risk?

Risk and Severity

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A DIAGNOSIS BY YOUR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. ONLY A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL CAN ASSESS THE RISK OF HAVING A LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIC REACTION (ANAPHYLAXIS). This information is being provided for your education and to facilitate a discussion with your health care professional.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction to an allergen, typically foods, biting or stinging insects, medications or physical exercise. People who have had a mild reaction may be at more risk because a mild reaction may be followed by a more severe reaction. In addition, individuals who have had a prior mild reaction to an allergen may also be at risk, because a severe reaction may be preceded by a less serious one. The severity of previous allergic reactions is not a predictor of the severity of future reactions. We encourage you to talk to your health care professional should you be concerned that you or your child may be at risk for anaphylaxis.

Anyone can develop a life-threatening allergy at any time in life, but certain factors may make some individuals susceptible to anaphylaxis. These factors can be divided into two categories: 1) general factors that increase the risk of having a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and 2) factors that may increase the severity of a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). These are shown in Figures 1 and 2 below.

Factors that increase the risk of anaphylaxis include (Figure 1):

  • Exposure to certain allergens (triggers) such as food (eg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk), biting or stinging insects (eg, bees, ants and ticks), latex and medications (eg, penicillin) for those who may be allergic to them
  • Exercise, in susceptible individuals
  • Exposure to cold, heat or sunlight

Factors that may increase the severity of anaphylaxis include (Figure 2):

  • Age:
    • Adolescents and young adults may be at an increased risk of having a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) triggered because of inconsistent behaviors in avoiding known triggers 
    • The elderly may be at an increased risk of anaphylaxis because of accompanying disorders and medications used to treat those disorders, such as heart disease. In addition, the elderly may be at an increased risk of anaphylaxis if they are exposed to biting or stinging insects
  • Disorders that make the symptoms of anaphylaxis difficult to recognize, such as impaired vision, seizures or depression
  • Medications or chemicals that make the symptoms of anaphylaxis difficult to recognize, such as antidepressants, sedatives or alcohol
  • Disorders such as asthma (especially if severe or not controlled with medication), heart disease, high blood pressure and cerebrovascular disease, such as stroke
  • Certain medications used in the treatment of heart disease, such as beta-blockers, that may block the medicinal benefits of epinephrine  

Talk to your health care professional to determine if you may be at risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) — and if you should be prescribed an EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injector. It’s important that those at risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) avoid known allergy-causing triggers and always carry an EpiPen Auto-Injector with them.

Anaphylaxis is unpredictable, and mild symptoms can progress rapidly to a severe reaction that may be life-threatening.

Important Safety Information

EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you inject into your outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTO YOUR VEIN, BUTTOCK, FINGERS, TOES, HANDS OR FEET. In case of accidental injection, please seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.

Tell your doctor if you have certain medical conditions such as asthma, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, 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 doctor 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 take the EpiPen or EpiPen Jr Auto Injector.

The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness or shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness or anxiety. These side effects usually go away quickly, especially if you rest.

Talk to your health care professional to see if EpiPen or EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector is right for you.

Indications

EpiPen® (epinephrine) 0.3 mg and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) 0.15 mg 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 self administration as emergency supportive therapy only. Seek immediate emergency medical treatment after use.

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

For additional information please contact us at 800-395-3376.