What are Adrenaline Auto-injectors?
Medical devices used in the emergency treatment of anaphylactic reactions
Adrenaline auto-injector is the common, generic name for a range of medical devices which are used in the short-term, emergency treatment of an anaphylactic reaction.
Please note that injectors do not cure or resolve the original cause of the anaphylactic reaction. As a result, Patients must always seek medical help by dialling 999 or 112 and stating “anaphylaxis” when an auto-injector has been given.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction, which may be caused by a wide range of allergens, including foodstuffs, drugs, insect stings and latex. We have a separate FAQ which goes into more depth about anaphylactic reactions, and so if you'd like more details on this, take a look at our What is Anaphylaxis FAQ page.
Main Types of Autoinjector
There are currently three main brands of autoinjector on the market: the Epipen®, the Jext® Pen and the Emerade®. The type of pen that a particular sufferer is prescribed is often based either on arrangements that Clinical Commissioning Groups have with providers, the preference of the GP, or the brand of pen that the patient has had in the past. The Epipen is probably the best known and most widely used, and this has often led to anaphylaxis courses being referred to "Epipen training", however Epipen is really the brand name of the device and not the medication itself.
Epipen Adrenaline Autoinjector Pens, manufactured by Mylan
The Jext Adrenaline Autoinjector Pen, manufactured by ALK-Abelló Ltd.
The Emerade Adrenaline Autoinjector Pen, manufactured by Bausch & Lomb
Anaphylaxis training is strongly recommended for those who are responsible for or work with individuals who are known to suffer from severe allergies, for example nurseries or schools. It is also advisable for those who work in organisations which provide catering services, where staff or members of the public could suffer reactions to ingredients in their food. Examples would include not only restaurants, but workplace canteens and hotels etc.
HTS Training provide a dedicated Anaphylaxis training course, which explains the causes, symptoms and emergency treatments for this potentially life-threatening condition. It also demonstrates the use of the three most common auto-injector devices (Jext®, Epipen® and Emerade®), including hands-on use of a practice device. Please note that there are no needles or drugs in the practice devices!