If you own an Epinephrine Auto-Injector, whether an Epi-pen®, Auvi-Q®, or other, you most likely have read all you can about what an allergic reaction looks like, how to administer your auto-injector, and the importance of an allergy plan. And while there is plenty of information out there to help you start your journey- there are fewer resources to help you get a feeling about what it’s like to have Epinephrine injected into your body. Hopefully, this article will fill in the gaps. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.
Important: Most patients who have passed away from an anaphylactic reaction had delayed treatment with epinephrine. Make sure you don’t delay in case of an emergency- it saves lives.
Most people who get prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector have concerns about the needle, both the feel the prick and the fear of having to do it to yourself. The good news is that most people who have had an auto-injector administered report not feeling the needle at all! It’s not clear whether this is because it’s usually taken during a severe allergic reaction- and let’s face it- a lot is going on or if it really doesn’t hurt. Others reported remembering the injection but that it was only a prick. Click here to watch ‘Epi-pen in action.’
Tip: It is a good idea to buy yourself a trainer, which gives you a feel of how an auto-injector works, only cost a few dollars, is reusable, and most importantly, gives you space and time you need to get used to administering an auto-injector.
Side effects of an Epinephrine Auto-Injector
There a quite a few possible effects from taking epinephrine- but it’s important to remember that most people don’t have them all. If reading possible side effects scare you, please skip this section. Make sure you inform your doctor about any side effects you are experiencing. (Source: Web MD)
Possible side effects include
- Fast/pounding heartbeat
- Trouble breathing,
- Pale skin
Important: Do not let the reactions that you may get from the epinephrine scare you. The side effects of anaphylaxis are much worse!
Click here to read a great personal experience of an epi-pen.
The good side effects
Once an Epinephrine Auto-Injector is administered, the results should be felt almost immediately- and that makes everything else worthwhile! If your throat has been closing up, you should feel immediate relief from its opening, you should stop feeling like your choking, you should be able to breathe easier, the swelling should go down- and all your other symptoms should ease up. You may be feeling sleepy afterward, so take it easy for the rest of the day.
Important: Always refill your Epinephrine Auto-Injector prescription immediately- most of the time, the Emergency doctor will offer you a replacement to take home with you, but if they don’t, remember not to leave without a prescription and fill it out ASAP. A biphasic reaction can happen for up to 36 hours after your first reaction, and it’s important to be prepared.