If you or a loved one lives with the threat of a severe allergy that could cause anaphylaxis, an epinephrine auto-injector, such as the EpiPen, is a life-saving tool that gives you a measure of reassurance, protection against a potentially deadly allergic reaction. In such a case, you may have only minutes to use the auto-injector to counteract anaphylactic shock.
Most people are aware that epinephrine auto-injectors have expiration dates and must be replaced periodically. However, some may not know that when subjected to adverse elements, the medication in auto-injectors is perishable prior to the best-before date.
The list of auto-injectors is growing. In addition to Mylan’s EpiPen, they include the Impax Epinephrine Injection, USP Auto-Injector available at CVS pharmacies; Auvi-Q; Symjepi, a device for use by trained individuals such as nurses; and Teva Pharmaceuticals’ just approved generic versions of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr which are expected to become available in a few months,
Whether you love spending time on Southern California’s sunny beaches or hitting the nearby ski slopes in winter, you don’t only need to pack your auto-injectors, you need to protect them from extreme weather to maintain their effectiveness.
That’s because the medication within your autoinjector pen is delicate, susceptible to spoilage by both temperature and light. The sensitivity is to both hot and cold extremes, and those “extremes” aren’t very wide. On the pen itself, storage temperatures are listed as room temperature, 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, not a very wide range at all.
After four years of research, Dr. Ziegner - who has clinical appointments at City of Hope and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles along with her Redondo Beach office - developed PenGo™. PenGo is the only custom storage and transport option that allows you to safely carry up to two auto-injector pens in most conditions.
With its patented 16 ounces of thermal insulating gel, PenGo’s insulation keeps your pens within their target temperature range under many conditions. No special preparation is needed. There’s no need to refrigerate or soak it in water. Just remove the pens from their packaging and place in your PenGo.
Best of all, PenGo has unlimited uses. Available in blue or orange, it measures an easy to carry 6" X 8" X 1.5". PenGo is available at our clinic for $49.95. Protecting your auto-injector pens is crucial, as even a few minutes in a parked car can significantly boost temperatures.
Whenever possible, arrange to have separate pens at regular summer destinations, such as a vacation home, summer camp, work location, or school.
With minimal planning and PenGo, you can ensure that your auto-injector is always ready should you need it.
To learn more about the use and care of auto-injector pens, contact Dr. Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California, by phone or online to arrange an appointment.
This month the FDA deemed indicated lots of Mylan’s EpiPens safe for an additional four months post-expiration date to help mitigate the shortage during back-to-school season. If you have any questions about your EpiPens or are having trouble filling your prescription, contact Mylan at 800 796-9526.