Many epinephrine self-injectors still potent LONG after expiration…
EpiPens and other autoinjectors filled with epinephrine to treat severe allergic reactions may still be potent enough to work many months past their labeled expiration date, according to a new study that concludes patients might need expensive refills less often.
[Reuters Health, 6/13/19] These autoinjectors contain a pre-set dose of epinephrine, a life-saving drug used by people at risk of experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe allergy attack. Untreated, anaphylactic shock can be fatal because blood pressure can drop suddenly and airways can narrow, making it difficult to breathe.
Patients who need these life-saving devices must carry at least one with them at all times and have access to one everywhere they go.
Soaring prices and out-of-pocket costs for the autoinjectors have made it increasingly difficult for many patients to keep throwing out and replacing unused devices when they expire, researchers note in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires autoinjector expiration dates to ensure that the devices never contain less than 90% of the original dose of epinephrine, the study team notes.
For the study, researchers tested the contents of 46 different autoinjectors to see how much epinephrine remained after the expiration dates on the labels. Half of the devices were tested at least two years after their labeled expiration date. At this point, 80% of the devices still retained 90% or more epinephrine, indicating they were still effective under the FDA rules……..
Read the Full Article at: Reuters Health
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