How Does an EpiPen Work? A Simple Guide

It’s recommended that you keep at least two EpiPens on you if you are at risk of going into anaphylactic shock.

This is important information, but have you ever looked at the life-saving device and thought, “How does an EpiPen work?” Well, you’re not alone!

how does an epipen work

The prospect of injecting yourself with a drug can be scary, even when it is life-saving, whether it’s due to unfamiliarity or a fear of needles. But sometimes what helps the most is understanding the object and how it works to subdue apprehensions.

So if you’re wondering what an Epipen is, how it works, and when you should use one, look no further. Soon you’ll be able to trust these devices and understand them well enough to use them properly, which could come in handy especially in an emergency.

What is an EpiPen?

So what is an EpiPen? Why was it so hard to find an EpiPen for sale a few years back?

Well, that’s because Mylan dramatically increased the price of EpiPens in 2015. This was big because EpiPens are auto-injection devices that pump a drug called epinephrine through one’s body.

The dose of the drug is pre-measured, and the drug is supposed to help open up the airways of someone having an intense allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis.

How Does an EpiPen Work?

The way that the EpiPen works is in its design. They are built to inject the drug on-site (hence the term, auto-injection) and deliver the epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) to the body to reverse the effects of anaphylaxis.

The adrenaline triggers a fight-or-flight response within the person facing the reaction, allowing them to overcome some of the scary effects of the reaction like the constricting of airways and lowering of blood pressure.

The drug that the EpiPen injects helps the user relax their muscles breathe better so that their deep breaths prevent the heart from stopping or an anxiety attack from occurring. It also helps the blood vessels constrict in order to raise blood pressure.

When Should One Use an Epipen?

It’s important to understand that EpiPens are devices that are generally prescribed to people with severe allergies. Using an EpiPen should only happen when one is going into anaphylactic shock.

You can identify anaphylaxis through a combination of the following symptoms: trouble breathing, shortness of breath, coughing, hives, rashes, or swelling. If one is sure of anaphylaxis, the EpiPen should be used on the thigh, which is the best way to get the drug pumping through one’s body fastest.

Stay Informed, Save Lives

Now, you know more than just “How does an EpiPen work?” and feel braver and more equipped to use one if you ever might need to.

It can be scary at first, but now that you understand the mechanics of the EpiPen and the circumstances in which you should use them. You could be key in an emergency!

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