HomeAsk the allergist – June 2024

Ask the allergist – June 2024

June 14, 2024

Ask the allergist is a regular feature in our newsletters where Canadian allergists answer your questions! 

Please note: The allergists featured in this series answer questions on general topics, please talk to your doctor if you have questions about your own health or the health of your child. 

This month, we asked Dr. Julia Upton about epinephrine auto-injectors and expiry dates.

Is it OK to use an expired epinephrine auto-injector to treat anaphylaxis?

It’s best to use an in-date epinephrine auto-injector, as an expired device may have less active medication and be less effective than an unexpired one.

With the EpiPen® and ALLERJECT®, there is also a viewing window on the device to be able to see the medication, and it should show a clear liquid. If the liquid is dark, cloudy, discoloured (brown or pink), or looks like it has particles, the device needs to be replaced.

Ideally, try to replace auto-injectors by the expiry date. However, if someone is experiencing anaphylaxis, an expired epinephrine auto-injector is better than no epinephrine auto-injector at all.

Thank you Dr. Upton for your insight! Check out our handy epinephrine sheet for more info and tips!

Dr. Julia Upton is on staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in the Immunology and Allergy Department; Medical Director, Clinical Research Centre at SickKids Research Institute; and an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is on the Board of Directors at the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and a member of our Healthcare Advisory Board.  

Please note: Dr. Upton is answering as an individual allergist and her answers do not constitute an official position of her affiliated organizations. Her responses are for informational purposes only and do not constitute specific medical advice, recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Please talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have regarding your own health or the health of your child.  

Do you have a food allergy-related question you’d like to ask an allergist in the months to come? If so, send it along to us at info@foodallergycanada.ca

Tags: , ,