If you have a severe allergy and your doctor has prescribed you an EpiPen®, it’s crucial to keep it nearby and in the best of condition in case you need it to save your life. This blog will discuss how best to care for an EpiPen® and provide you with tips to help you remember to bring it with you.
Keep Your EpiPen® Safe From Extreme Temperatures
Your EpiPen® should always be kept at room temperature (around 68-77°) to maintain the concentration of epinephrine in the auto-injector. Exposing your EpiPen® to temperatures of 78-86° for brief periods is permissible but not ideal. You should plan to avoid leaving your EpiPen® in your car, especially on hot or cold days, even if you only plan to run errands for a while. It can be enough exposure to hot or cold temperatures to degrade the medicine, and you never know when you might wish you had it with you. In case of an anaphylaxis emergency, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable knowing your epinephrine has been well cared for and that it is fully effective. The safest place to keep your EpiPen® is in an insulated pouch, with ice packs if needed.
How Often Should You Replace an EpiPen®?
If the proper storage directions have been followed, your EpiPen® can last around 12-18 months before needing to be replaced. This is due to the unstable nature of epinephrine. Set a reminder on your digital calendar a week before the expiration date on your EpiPen® to make sure you get it renewed. Replacing your EpiPen® by the expiration date ensures the dosage works as expected, especially if you are experiencing a life-threatening event. The last thing you’ll want to worry about in a moment of need is whether or not your EpiPen® is still effective.
Tips to Remember Your EpiPen®
Try these hacks to help remember your EpiPen®:
- Buy two EpiPens®, and keep them both in easily accessible places so you have a better chance of having one close to you.
- Keep an EpiPen® near your keys so that you begin to associate the two. You’ll be less likely to miss it when you go out.
- If you are going on a trip and start a checklist, add your EpiPen® to the list.
- Build a habit of double-checking.
- Use a reminder app on your phone.
Make An Appointment with a Boise Allergist
If you think you may need an EpiPen® or have more questions oral immunotherapy, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Allergy Group. Our allergists serve residents of Boise, Caldwell, Meridian, Eagle, and Nampa.