EpiPen is an immediate response, injectable medication intended for use during anaphylactic reactions, caused by allergies. It is a branded adrenaline auto-injector (AAI). It is supplied in an applicator similar in shape to a pen, which contains a needle inside. This is jabbed into the thigh when required, and releases a dose of adrenaline into the body to avert symptoms. EpiPen is made by Mylan, and is available to buy from our online pharmacy in the UK.

In some cases, an episode of anaphylactic shock may require two pens to be administered, 5-15 minutes apart. For this reason, it is advisable for patients who have been told to carry a pen to have access to two at all times.

The different types of allergic reactions

Allergic reactions tend to vary greatly in their severity. Some people with allergies such as hay fever may experience mild to moderate symptoms after coming into contact with pollen, such as coughing, sneezing or puffing around the eyes. Others, such as those who are allergic to certain soaps or cosmetics, may develop skin conditions similar to dermatitis. These types of allergic reactions can be uncomfortable, are not usually life-threatening and can be treated with antihistamines.

However, anaphylactic reactions caused by coming into contact with an allergen can be fatal in some cases. These are more typically very sudden in nature, and can be triggered by insect stings, certain foods such as nuts or shellfish, or sometimes medication. The most common signs of an anaphylactic response include breathing difficulties, the appearance of a rash which may be very itchy, swelling in the face (especially in the eyes and lips) or the throat, wheezing, and in some cases, loss of consciousness. Sometimes, symptoms can be so severe that they can lead to heart failure.

Why does anaphylaxis occur?

Anaphylaxis occurs when the immune system responds drastically to the stimuli provided by an allergen, even though it may be harmless. Essentially, the immune system is attempting to protect the body from the allergen, which is perceived as a threat, by releasing certain chemicals. These cause a severe, inflammatory response in the body, causing blood vessels to widen, thereby dramatically dropping blood pressure. This leads to the swelling of tissue and the onset of the above symptoms.

How does EpiPen work?

Broken down, the name epi pen refers to both the name of the active ingredient, and the way the treatment is delivered. EpiPen contains an adrenaline called epinephrine, which works quickly to shrink blood vessels and prevent them from dilating. This helps to manage blood pressure, enabling the heart to maintain normal function; and reduces the swelling of tissue, including in the throat, facilitating easier breathing.

In addition to the standard pen for adults, Mylan has also developed EpiPen Jr. This is a reduced dose version, which is used to treat anaphylaxis in children with a weight of 15-30kg. It is administered in exactly the same manner as the adult pen, and performs an identical function in the body. However, please note that this is not available to buy from our UK pharmacy.

Can I buy EpiPen adrenaline auto injectors online?

If you are an adult looking to renew your EpiPen prescription, you can do so through our online pharmacy service. Our consultation facility has been designed to enable you to order the treatment you need safely and efficiently. Each order is assessed by a GMC registered doctor, before being dispensed at our UK pharmacy.

Please note that once your EpiPen has gone past its expiry date, it will need to be replaced. Our pharmacy provides a service notifying patients of when an EpiPen bought through us is about to expire


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