Intra-muscular injection of adrenaline is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. Auto-injectors have been designed to be used by lay people – parents, caregivers, teachers, passers-by, or the individual at risk of anaphylaxis, in an emergency. They contain a single, fixed dose of adrenaline. For more information head over to the ASCIA FAQs here.
There are two auto-injectors available in New Zealand, the Anapen and the EpiPen. They are not funded by PHARMAC and can therefore be purchased without a prescription from any pharmacy. The shelf life varies but is usually over $100 for 12-15 months shelf-life. Allergy New Zealand provides information on the home page of the current expiry dates for both brands.
Each brand comes in two sizes of pre-measured dose – 150 (Jnr) and 300. ASCIA’s prescribing guidelines recommend the 150 (Jnr) for children weighing 10-20 kgs and the 300 for adults and children over 20kgs.
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