Covid-19 Coronavirus

EpiPen shortage – advice for users

Monday, 15 October 2018

Advice has been issued to users of EpiPen and EpiPen Junior in the Island, as the UK Department of Health and Social Care confirms the current shortage is likely to continue for several months.

  • Users are urged not to order more devices than they need. Repeat prescriptions will be monitored to ensure limited supplies remain available to everyone that needs them. Any additional dispensing to patients worried about shortages could make the situation worse
  • Always use an out of date EpiPen rather than no EpiPen – it cannot do you any harm. So the advice is not to throw away an expired device until it’s been replaced
  • Parents should consider having their child assessed by a GP as some children may be appropriate for any adult dose pen
  • Different brands of preloaded injection pens are available from other suppliers, but are not used in exactly the same way – GPs and pharmacists will work together to ensure patients switched to different devices are trained in how to use them

Over the next few days, the DHSC’s pharmacy team will establish how many devices and of what type are available at Island pharmacies. GPs will then be advised where stocks are available.

The latest advice from the UK has also been given to parents and guardians of Isle of Man school pupils.

A delay in the manufacture of EpiPen products has affected supplies for several months and the shortage is affecting countries around the world. Suppliers of alternative adrenaline auto injectors are working to meet increasing demand for all stocks and the situation is being closely monitored by the Manx Government.  

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