Food allergies among children are on the rise, and many kids are at risk for anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction. It can be caused by foods, medications, and latex that releases histamines and other allergic mediators. People who are susceptible to anaphylaxis can experience symptoms like asthma, gastrointestinal issues, shock and even death.
To halt the symptoms of anaphylaxis, many people turn to epinephrine, which is given as an intramuscular injection and is the only treatment shown to reduce death, especially when administered early to the affected party. Get an overview of the most popular auto-injectors for anaphylaxis and the differences between Epi-Pen vs. Adrenaclick below.
Epi-Pen: A Fast Source of Epinephrine
Epi-Pen Box and Auto-Injectors
To combat the anaphylaxis resulting from an allergic reaction, epinephrine must be readily available. Many of those affected by anaphylaxis use an auto-injector in order to rapidly apply epinephrine in the event of an allergic reaction, with an Epi-Pen being the most popular type of auto-injector. An Epi-Pen is activated when the person injecting the epinephrine removes the safety cap and presses the end with the spring-loaded needle in the thigh of the person experiencing a severe allergic reaction.
Critics of the Epi-Pen say that the design causes those attempting to inject epinephrine to get confused and hold the device backwards, resulting in an injection in the thumb and preventing the maximum amount of epinephrine from being absorbed into a person’s body.
Adrenaclick: A Newer Auto-Injector for Epinephrine
For years, the Epi-Pen was the only epinephrine auto-injector on the market, but in the 2000s, the FDA approved Adrenaclick as an alternative. The device briefly went off the market but was rereleased in 2013.
Like the Epi-Pen, Adrenaclick contains epinephrine and is used to treat anaphylaxis. It comes in a pull-apart cylindrical carrying case about the same size as an Epi-Pen, and medication is administered through a slim injection pen. When needed, users can remove the cap of the pen, revealing a red tip. The red tip is placed against the middle outer thigh of the person experiencing anaphylaxis and is held firmly in place until a needle enters the skin and delivers epinephrine. Users know that the dose was received if the needle is exposed.
In addition to being relatively easy to use, the Adrenaclick is typically cheaper than the Epi-Pen. One Epi-Pen package usually costs around $580-$700, while an Adrenaclick package usually costs around $450-$550 without factoring in insurance. However, keep in mind that these are just estimates, and actual costs at your pharmacy may fall outside of these ranges.
Both Epi-Pen and Adrenaclick have their advocates, and there is no one right choice for treating anaphylaxis. If you or your child needs to carry an epinephrine auto-injector, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of different devices. For more information about and free coupons for these drugs, visit our Epi-Pen and Adrenaclick drug pages.