Revised recommendations for use of adrenaline auto-injectors post European review

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Intramuscular injection of adrenaline indicated for treatment of anaphylactic reaction. As onset of anaphylaxis can be very fast, the individual should use an adrenaline auto-injector at the first signs of a severe reaction, then call for emergency medical help. Signs of a severe reaction include swelling in the throat (altered voice, difficulty swallowing or breathing), wheezing, dizziness, feeling faint, tiredness (symptoms of low blood pressure). If the patient does not feel better after the first injection, the second auto-injector should be used 5–15 minutes after the first.

Conclusions of European review are as follows:

  • Due to uncertainties about the site of drug delivery and the speed of adrenaline action within the body, it is recommended that healthcare professionals prescribe 2 auto-injectors, which patients should carry at all times
  • The needle length of the device is now stated in the product information because this may be an important factor for the prescriber to consider when choosing a suitable auto-injector
  • The training of patients and their carers in the correct use of the product is important and manufacturers were required to update their educational materials – see table below
  • Manufacturers should carry out studies in humans to more fully understand when and how much adrenaline reaches the blood stream, and how qui...