The MHRA have issued updated advice on adrenaline auto-injectors to recommend that 2 adrenaline auto-injectors are prescribed, which patients should carry at all times.
Advice for healthcare professionals:
- it is recommended that 2 adrenaline auto-injectors are prescribed, which patients should carry at all times
- ensure that people with allergies and their carers have been trained to use the particular auto-injector that they have been prescribed—technique varies between injectors
- encourage people with allergies and their carers to obtain and practise using a trainer device (available for free from the manufacturers’ websites)
Advice to give to people with allergies and their carers:
- it is recommended that you carry 2 adrenaline auto-injectors at all times; this is particularly important for people who also have allergic asthma because they are at increased risk of a severe anaphylactic reaction
- use the adrenaline auto-injector at the first signs of a severe allergic reaction
- take the following actions immediately after every use of an adrenaline auto-injector:
- call 999, ask for an ambulance and state “anaphylaxis”, even if symptoms are improving
- lie flat with legs raised to maintain blood flow. However, if you have breathing difficulties, you may need to sit up to make breathing easier
- seek help immediately after using the auto-injector and if at all possible make sure someone stays with you while waiting for the ambulance
- if you do not start to feel better, use the second auto-injector 5–15 minutes after the first one
- check the expiry date of the adrenaline auto-injectors and obtain replacements before they expire; expired injectors will be less effective
For more information, please see the MHRA Drug Safety Update website.