How do you store your epipens? What do you see as the most important aspect of their storage? Do they need to be kept cool? Does any heat or cold affect them?
We were fortunate enough to meet with the WA reps for Mylan recently and we used the opportunity to quiz them on a few epipen facts. One of the topics of interest for us was Epipen storage finding out the facts vs the myths, what is optimal storage, do you need to keep them insulated? The answers were very interesting and not what you might expect. Here are their top tips for storing your epipens.
- Accessibility is key!!
The most important part of epipen storage is accessibility. When you are in an emergency situation and someone is experiencing anaphylaxis you need to be able to access epipens quickly and easily. Store them in a consistent place in your house, everyone should be aware of where they are kept and be able to access them easily. When you are out and about have a consistent place that you store them. Ensure those around you know about your/your child’s allergies and where your epipens are stored. Not being able to access an epipen when it is required is a common reason for not administering them in a timely manner.
- Store away from UV light
The epinephrine can degrade with UV light exposure. It is important that epipens are stored in a dark place, whether at home or when you are out and about. For example keeping them on the kitchen bench might seem accessible but are they might be in direct UV light. This is where a storage container or bag can be useful.
- Ideally keep at room temperature
Epipens be kept at room temperature. However, constant insulation is not necessarily required. If you are having a trip to the beach on a hot day they should be ok without insulation, however, long term heat exposure is not recommended. For example being left in a hot car, kept in a glove box or in the searing sun all day long (remember UV exposure is an issue as well). The same goes with cold exposure, they should not be kept in the fridge or at cold temperatures for a long time.
- When to replace
Look in the window. If the solution is discoloured, a red/reddish brown colour, or if there are things floating in the solution then it is time to replace them.
Overall, keep your epipens in an easy to access place, away from UV light and ideally at room temperature. Insulated bags can be helpful as they keep out the light and provide some insulation but they are not necessary. In addition, not all insulated storage containers have been rigorously tested so do your research if you are very keen to have them insulated. If you are spending days at the beach in the height of summer or in the snow in winter it might be worth investing in something that has been scientifically shown to insulate your medication such as the Frio pack.
I keep my sons in a larger medical pack as it helps to store them alongside other medications such as antihistamine and Ventolin. They are always kept in his backpack which is always with him. At home there is a special draw for his backpack where it is always stored and everyone is aware of this storage place. My epipens are kept in a small cross body bag which is large enough to fit all my things plus two epipens. Being a cross body bag makes it easy to throw on and always have with me.
If you need more information give us a call or head over the Mylan website. Mylan have plenty of resources, we have many in our resource centre, and there are more online if you are looking for more information.
It is important to note that this is not a paid post.