Health | 4 Min Read

The unknown hazards
that can affect the EpiPen®

Written by:

Susan Sloane

Education Specialist & Pharmacist for over 25 years

To be sure, the EpiPen is a lifesaving medical treatment that can be used in a wide variety of settings. It’s easy to use, and teachers, camp counselors, and other responsible adults (as well as the kids themselves) can be trained in administering an EpiPen® dose.

The EpiPen provides a sense of security for parents of children suffering from severe allergies that include the risk of anaphylaxis. Even if your child is exposed to a potentially dangerous allergen, the EpiPen can be administered quickly, preventing anaphylaxis from setting in.

for many the EpiPen provides a false sense of security.
The active ingredient epinephrine is degraded when exposed to heat above 86 degrees.

for many the EpiPen provides a false sense of security. The active ingredient epinephrine is degraded when exposed to heat above 86 degrees.

Furthermore, the auto-injectors are difficult to remove from the carrier tube when exposed to prolonged time in heat. Even those EpiPen that were able to dispense medication released less epinephrine than those which were safely stored at room temperature.

High temperatures aren't the only environmental elements that impact the effectiveness of the EpiPen. Exposure to cold and sunlight can compromise its effectiveness. For children relying on the effectiveness of an EpiPen to protect against an allergen, these degradations can have a catastrophic effect.

Here are 3 common scenarios parents need to be concerned about with their child’s EpiPen.

1. EpiPens in School

Children spend about seven hours a day in school. They are exposed to foods that other students bring from home, as well as those prepared in the school’s cafeteria. Due to the expense of EpiPens®, most students carry their EpiPens® with them to and from school.

These EpiPens are exposed to cold weather in winter and hot weather in summer. Students who transport them in their pocket or backpack are at high risk of their EpiPen failing when they need it the most. While most students who need it carry two EpiPens with them at all times, if both EpiPens are exposed to the same environmental elements, both may fail.

Some students do store their EpiPens in their locker. However, not all school buildings control the temperature overnight. That means the EpiPens could be getting damaged each night as temperatures drop below 59 degrees inside the building.

2. EpiPens at Camp

When kids with severe allergies attend summer camp, they often carry their EpiPen with them everywhere they go. However, when playing a sport or going swimming, they take their EpiPen out of their pocket and leave it on a pool chair or at the side of the field.

Sitting in the direct sunlight degrades the potency of the epinephrine, which is why many parents discard their child’s EpiPen when they return home after a summer away. They are concerned that the EpiPen® will no longer be effective.

3. EpiPens in the Car

Automobiles are one of the worst places to store an EpiPen. Although it makes sense to have an EpiPen® wherever you go, the temperature in cars rises and falls with the weather. In the summer, it can feel like an oven; winter weather converts it into a virtual ice box.

Storing an EpiPen in the glove box or anywhere else in the car for even a few hours can inhibit its effectiveness, leaving your child at risk of anaphylaxis.

How to Keep Your EpiPen at Room Temperature Everywhere and Anywhere?

The EpiPen’s safe temperature range is 59-86 degrees. For adults who spend most of their days in an office setting or at home, it’s not that difficult to ensure their EpiPen® is within the safe range. However, for children who go to school, play outside, swim at the pool, and participate in other indoor and outdoor activities, maintaining that temperature range can be a real challenge.

To address these concerns, many people rely on insulated bags. However, these bags are bulky, and not all have been tested to ensure that they will maintain the EpiPen’s temperature for an extended period of time. Some require an ice pack to regulate the temperature, while others need to be submerged in cold waterto be effective.

The Vivi Epi by TempraMed

The VIVI Epi is a carrying case designed to keep EpiPens at a safe temperature regardless of the external environment. Its patented technology was developed for space and clinically validated in scientific trials. It doesn’t need to be soaked in water to provide a consistent, safe temperature for the EpiPen.

The space age materials not only shield against cold weather, but the self-activating insulation actually absorbs heat and then safely releases it back into the environment. The VIVI Epi never needs to be charged and works 24/7/365.

The VIVI Epi offers peace of mind to parents who send their children off to kindergarten, school, or camp, knowing that if there is ever any need for a shot of epinephrine, the EpiPen® will function as designed.

Learn more about the VIVI Epi and ensure your child’s EpiPen will work as intended.

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