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Generic Name: epinephrine injection (EP i NEF rin)
Brand Names: Auvi-Q Auto-injector

Medically reviewed by Judith Stewart, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 3, 2020.

What is Auvi-Q?

Auvi-Q injection contains epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. These effects can reverse severe low blood pressure, wheezing, severe skin itching, hives, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Auvi-Q injection is used to treat severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to insect stings or bites, foods, drugs, and other allergens. Epinephrine is also used to treat exercise-induced anaphylaxis.

Auvi-Q auto-injectors may be kept on hand for self-injection by a person with a history of an severe allergic reaction. This medicine is for use in adults and children who weigh at least 16.5 pounds (7.5 kilograms).

Important Information

Seek emergency medical attention after any use of Auvi-Q to treat a severe allergic reaction. After the injection you will need to receive further treatment and observation.

Before taking this medicine

Before using Auvi-Q, tell your doctor if any past use of this medicine caused an allergic reaction to get worse.

To make sure Auvi-Q is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Having an allergic reaction while pregnant or nursing could harm both mother and baby. You may need to use Auvi-Q during pregnancy or while you are breast-feeding. Seek emergency medical attention right away after using the injection.

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you received this medicine.

How should I use Auvi-Q?

The Auvi-Q auto-injector device is a disposable single-use system. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Do not inject this medicine if you do not understand these instructions. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

Auvi-Q is injected into the skin (subcutaneously) or muscle (intramuscularly) of your outer thigh. In an emergency, this injection can be given through your clothing.

Your medicine may also come with a "trainer pen." The trainer pen contains no medicine and no needle. It is only for non-emergency use to practice giving yourself an Auvi-Q injection.

Do not remove the safety cap until you are ready to use the auto-injector. Never put your fingers over the injector tip when removing the safety cap or after the safety cap has been removed.

To use an Auvi-Q auto-injector:

Auvi-Q contains an electronic voice instruction system to help guide you through each step of your injection. If the voice instructions do not work for any reason, use Auvi-Q as directed in the steps below. It will still work during an allergic reaction emergency.

  1. Pull Auvi-Q up from the outer case.

  2. Pull Red safety guard down and off of Auvi-Q. To reduce the chance of an accidental injection, do not touch the black base of the auto-injector, which is where the needle comes out. If an accidental injection happens, get medical help right away. Note that the red safety guard is made to fit tight. Pull firmly to remove.

  3. Place black end of Auvi-Q against the middle of the outer thigh (through clothing, if needed), then push firmly until you hear a click and hiss sound, and hold in place for 2 seconds. Only inject into the middle of the outer thigh. Do not inject into any other part of the body. If you are administering Auvi-Q to a young child or infant, hold the leg firmly in place while administering an injection.

    The needle automatically retracts after the injection is complete, so the needle will not be visible after the injection. Auvi-Q includes a 2-second countdown after it is activated, then the voice instruction will indicate the injection is complete.

  4. Seek emergency medical attention after any use of epinephrine to treat a severe allergic reaction.

    The effects of epinephrine may wear off after 10 or 20 minutes. You will need to receive further treatment and observation.

Do not use Auvi-Q if it has changed colors or has particles in it, or if the expiration date on the label has passed. Call your pharmacist for a new prescription.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not refrigerate or freeze this medication, and do not store it in a car.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Auvi-Q is normally used only as needed in an emergency, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule. Do not use repeat doses of Auvi-Q without a doctor's advice.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of an epinephrine overdose may include worsened breathing trouble, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance, or dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, sweating, chills, chest pain, fast or slow heartbeats, severe shortness of breath, or cough with foamy mucus.

What should I avoid while using Auvi-Q?

Do not inject epinephrine into a vein or into the muscles of your buttocks, or it may not work as well. Inject it only into the fleshy outer portion of the thigh.

Accidentally injecting epinephrine into your hands or feet may result in a loss of blood flow to those areas, and resulting numbness.

Auvi-Q side effects

Before using Auvi-Q, tell your doctor if any past use of this medicine caused an allergic reaction to get worse.

Call your doctor at once if you notice pain, swelling, warmth, redness, or other signs of infection around the area where you gave an injection.

Common Auvi-Q side effects may include:

  • breathing problems;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • pale skin, sweating;

  • nausea and vomiting;

  • dizziness;

  • weakness or tremors;

  • throbbing headache; or

  • feeling nervous, anxious, or fearful.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Auvi-Q?

Other drugs may interact with epinephrine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Auvi-Q only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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