Individuals at risk of anaphylaxis now have a choice of device with the availability of a second adrenaline injector, Anapen®.
According to Maria Said, Chief Executive Officer of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and Co-Chair of the National Allergy Strategy, it is important to have another injector device with different features available in Australia.
“People at risk of anaphylaxis, their parents/carers and their doctors can now choose a device that best suits their needs,” she said. “There have been many shortages of EpiPen® over the years so having a second device means we have a backup if there is a shortage of either device.”
Prior to the launch of Anapen®, Epipen® was the only adrenaline injector available in Australia, however a previous design of Anapen® was in the market from 2011-2014.
Both brand devices contain one single premeasured dose of adrenaline.
EpiPen® comes in two different doses 300mcg for people 20kg and over and 150mcg for infants and little children weighing 7.5kg up to 20kg.
Anapen® comes in three different doses with the added dose to the above being a 500mcg dose for people 50kg and over.
“Doctors can consider the 500mcg dose for their patients as some will still be prescribed a 300mcg dose even though they weigh more than 50kg,” said Ms Said.
“Prescription of dose strength depends on a number of factors including past history of severe reactions/need to have more than one dose of adrenaline, what the anaphylaxis trigger is, whether the person lives in a rural/remote area away from prompt medical care etc.”
While welcoming the choice of a second injector device, Ms Said highlighted they are administered differently “so it is important people know how to use the device prescribed”.
“It is critical that people prescribed the device know how to use it and that they carry an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis for that specific device with them at all times.
“People should have two of the same device, and not one of each as they will get confused about use in an emergency.
“Schools, workplaces, sporting clubs and the like need to understand how to give both devices because they will come across people with either an EpiPen® or an Anapen®.”
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia has two animations available to show people how each device – Anapen® and EpiPen® – is used. Trainer devices with no needle can also be purchased however should never be kept with the actual emergency devices containing needle and medication.
The Anapen® is available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for Australians at risk of anaphylaxis. It is being distributed by Allergy Concepts in Australia.