In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze an EpiPen?” Also, we’ll discuss how an EpiPen should be stored, what an EpiPen is, and what are some guidelines for EpiPen usage.
Can you freeze an EpiPen?
It is possible to freeze an EpiPen and still use it after it has thawed, though actually preserving it in frozen temperatures is impractical, as the principle behind an EpiPen is that it is readily available if needed.
However, research has shown that EpiPens, if accidentally submitted to subzero temperatures for some time, retain their functionality and efficacy.
Below, we’ll discuss how EpiPens should be properly stored.
How can I store an EpiPen?
EpiPens should be kept out of direct sunlight, and stored at room temperature (between 15°C to 25°C). Allegedly, temperatures below the aforementioned range may throttle or otherwise impair the pen’s delivery mechanism.
For practicality, EpiPens should be stored where they are easily accessible to users. This may mean in a designated drawer or cabinet that doesn’t lock.
If a user carries them on his or her person as a precaution, they should be kept in a space where they won’t easily heat up, such as an insulated backpack compartment, a purse, or a satchel.
As is the case with most medications, EpiPens should be discarded well after their expiration dates have transpired, but may be kept for a moderate amount of time after.
The loss of effectiveness in expired EpiPens is gradual, and users may still use a pen that is two weeks past its expiration but should think twice before hanging on to one that’s been expired for several months.
What is an EpiPen?
EpiPen alludes to a brand of Epinephrine that is packaged in a device that can inject it directly into a person. It is used to stop the onset of severe allergic reactions that may even be life-threatening.
In its conception, the device was designed to dispense the need to prepare a sterile syringe and draw out the medication from a vial, as when treating severe allergic reactions, time is of the essence.
While the EpiPen is packaged and sold by a specific brand, there are many generic injector devices that users can purchase for home use, or carry on their person.
Epinephrine has a systemic effect and counters the body’s reaction to the allergen. Specifically, it can make blood vessels narrower, which raises a person’s blood pressure and as a result, decreases swelling.
Patients that go into anaphylactic shock (their airways close) benefit greatly from this, as the muscles around their airways won’t swell and close in around them, allowing them to keep breathing.
Epinephrine is a medication that works throughout the whole body, and therefore, is the only drug indicated for the treatment of severe reactions that may target one or more functions and/or organs.
What are some guidelines for EpiPen usage?
EpiPens should be kept and carried by those at risk of coming into contact with allergens that trigger severe reactions.
These patients are diagnosed by a certified allergologist, who will determine if there is a risk of anaphylaxis and prescribe Epinephrine injectors.
If a user has been diagnosed and prescribed EpiPens, they should carry them on their person, or in the case of small children, an accompanying adult or guardian should always carry one.
EpiPens are indicated for intramuscular use (they should be injected into the muscles), and if used timely, they can halt severe allergy symptoms such as closed airways, swelling, wheezing, low blood pressure, tachycardia (accelerated heart rate), and others.
They should be injected into a person’s outer thigh, once they’ve been prepared and had the safety mechanisms removed.
Once the medication has been injected, the device should remain in place for no less than 3 seconds to avoid it seeping out. The needle can be carefully removed, and the area around the injection site lightly massaged.
Their efficacy will depend on how quickly they are administered, and some severe reactions, though they’re countered in time, will still require the appraisal of a licensed medical professional to make sure no additional damages or symptoms persist.
We advise our readers to consult any doubts they have with their general practitioners, who will determine whether more specialized guidance and treatment are required, and will refer them to a specialist.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze an EpiPen?” Also, we’ve discussed how an EpiPen should be stored, what an EpiPen is, and what are some guidelines for EpiPen usage.