COLORADO SPRINGS – The expense of EpiPens and insufficient availability are stories that have made national headlines. It’s a situation we are also dealing with here in the Pikes Peak region.
Dr. Daniel Soteres with Asthma and Allergy Associates of Colorado Springs says the back to school push is fueling part of this situation. “We fill out hundreds of back to school forms at this time of year, special emergency action plans for kids and many of the patients are having trouble refilling their EpiPen or injectable epinephrine prescriptions.”
Dr. Soteres says recent moves by the FDA of extending the expiration dates of certain EpiPens is helping. He also says in an emergency expired epinephrine is better than none.
“There is a range of safety (to consider) there, but I generally tell people in the clinic to keep their expired epipens they still work, they just may not work as long. It’s better than not having it available at all.”
There are also products available but the hang up is usually what your insurance covers says Dr. Soteres. “There EpiPen, there is also something called Adrenaclick and another product called AUVI-Q. So if the insurance is open to using any one of these three products and you’re probably going to be able to have that injectable epinephrine refill.”
Dr. Soteres says you can visit “FoodAllergy.Org” to explore some of these options to EpiPen, just click the orange bar at the top of the page. In the meantime if this shortage means going without life saving epinephrine and you have a breathing emergency, you should call 9-1-1.
“EMS services (still) has epinephrine available to treat these situations. They may not be using EpiPens but they have the vials (of epinephrine) and the needles.”
If you have any questions about filling your epinephrine prescription or other options make sure to follow up with your doctor.
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