Knowing how to use an Epi-Pen before it's actually needed will ensure that the medication is delivered correctly and safely once it's needed. DO NOT ACTIVATE THE EPI-PEN DEVICE UNLESS YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION FOR WHICH THIS MEDICATION WAS PRESCRIBED. If you would like to be able to fully practice with an Epi-Pen, check with your doctor or pharmacist for a training Epi-Pen (that contains no needle or medication) which can be practiced with safely.
Time Required: 5 minutes
- Remove the Epi-Pen from the carrying case.
- Grasp the Epi-Pen in your dominant hand, placing your thumb over your fingers, forming a fist. Do not place your thumb over either end of the Epi-Pen - this could result in accidental injection of the medication into the thumb.
- Remove the gray safety cap from the Epi-Pen. The device will not work if this gray cap is attached.
- Firmly push the end of the Epi-Pen with the black tip into the side of the thigh (upper leg). When the black cap is pushed against the leg, a needle will pop out of the device, injecting the medication into the muscle of the thigh. The Epi-Pen needle will be able to pierce through most types of clothing, so pants do not need to be removed first in an allergic emergency.
- Hold the Epi-Pen device firmly against the thigh for a total of 10 seconds while the medication is being injected. Do not bounce the device off of the thigh prior to this time.
- Remove the Epi-Pen needle from the leg and put the used Epi-Pen in a safe place. The device is for single use only and cannot be used again.
- Call 911 or have another person take you to the closest emergency room. Inform medical authorities that you have injected youself with an Epi-Pen because you have experienced a severe allergic reaction. Be as specific as possible as to what may have caused the allergic reaction.