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Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology:
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328362b8aa
PHARMACOTHERAPY AND EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE: Edited by David Khan and Enrico Compalati

An update on self-injectable epinephrine

Rudders, Susan A.a; Banerji, Aleenab

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Epinephrine is an important life-saving treatment in patients with anaphylaxis. However, despite the guidelines recommending the use of epinephrine in the management of all patients with anaphylaxis, many patients are either not prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) or remain hesitant to use them.

Recent findings

In this review, we examine our current knowledge base regarding EAIs, including issues related to dosing, medication availability and new modes of administration. Our findings suggest that all patients at risk for anaphylaxis should always carry two epinephrine doses. Once an EAI is prescribed, the patient should receive appropriate education on when and how to use it and it should be administered without delay. Current EAI devices have been redesigned to address limitations and decrease unintentional injury.

Summary

Epinephrine remains the cornerstone of anaphylaxis treatment and EAIs are critical because of their ability to rapidly deliver this potentially life-saving medication outside of a medical setting. Continued efforts are needed to establish evidence-based parameters for delivery of this medication and to optimize education of healthcare providers and patients on the use of EAIs.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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