Alternative devices can help when autoinjectors are unavailable

Autoinjectors are in especially high demand as the new school year begins. Reports of a shortage of EpiPens have been surfacing lately as parents attempt to stock up on the epinephrine autoinjectors for school, home, backpacks and grandma's house. The manufacturer of EpiPen, Mylan, has been dealing with manufacturing issues since May, and the device was placed on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) list of drug shortages.

The good news is that alternative devices are readily available. These include Auvi-Q and Adrenaclick. If you find that you are having issues filling your EpiPen prescription, call your allergist for help.

"Your allergist will be able to prescribe you an alternative autoinjector," explained Bradley Chipps, MD, FACAAI, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). "They can also teach you how to use them, as each device works differently."

If you have expired autoinjectors and experience an anaphylactic reaction, it's better to use an expired device than nothing at all. However, with alternatives available, no one should have to rely on expired medication.

If you find yourself having trouble at the pharmacy, contact your allergist or, if you need help finding one, use the ACAAI allergist locator.​​

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