Epinephrine Is Vital Medicine

Epinephrine is life-saving medicine. For any person with a severe allergy—whether caused by food, insect bites, or plants—the drug can mean the difference between life and death. Doctors routinely prescribe it to patients with severe allergies or a history of anaphylactic reactions. But the cases aren’t quite so easy to carry. They certainly don’t fit neatly into a pocket. Here’s how to carry epinephrine autoinjectors both safely and discreetly.

At School

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one in five children with severe allergies have had a reaction while at school. Keeping the medicine nearby is important, but not always easy.

Some schools do not allow children to carry their own autoinjector. Ask the school nurse about the school’s policy. If your child can carry the medicine and is trained to use it, have them keep it concealed in a backpack inside a designated bag or pocket. Check it regularly to make sure it has not cracked or gone bad.

Although they are convenient, fanny packs aren’t the most stylish option for toting your meds. It’s often pretty easy to keep your autoinjectors on you in a more fashionable way. Women can carry them discreetly in a purse. Men can hide them in a briefcase or work tote.

Make sure at least one colleague knows where you keep your epinephrine autoinjectors. This way, they can assist you if you have trouble accessing one.

On Vacation

New places mean new potential hazards. You’ll be dining in restaurants and venues that aren’t as familiar to you as your favorite ones back home, so be prepared.

You can bring the medicine on a plane. Just be sure that it’s clearly labeled so it can be easily identified. Keep the cases in a backpack or purse when you’re jumping from theme park to theme park or from beach to beach. When possible, avoid the sunlight or extreme cold. Temperatures at either end of the thermometer may make the medicine less effective.

At The Gym

Trips to the gym basically require you to carry a bag. Whether you’re toting a water bottle, your clothes, a yoga mat, or all of the above, be sure you tote along a dose of epinephrine in case of a reaction. Even better, if you’re the only one who uses your gym locker, keep one in there. That way, the medicine is there whether you forgot your gym bag or not.

Take Care of Your Meds

Epinephrine carrying cases are usually designed to protect the injectors and prevent damage when they’re in bags or backpacks. Keep cases of injectors closed tightly, and store them away from children who do not need the medicine.

Be aware of the temperature where you store the medicine, too—both hot and cold temperatures can deteriorate the medicine and make it less effective.

Check the tube regularly for damage. If you discover that the autoinjector is cracked or broken, immediately dispose of it. Discolored medicine should be thrown away too.

No Matter Where You Go

The important thing to remember about epinephrine is that you need it, whether you can carry it discreetly or not. If you have severe allergies or a history of anaphylactic reactions, an epinephrine pen can help ease the symptoms of anaphylaxis, and it buys you more time to get to a hospital. Don’t be afraid to carry your medicine with you. You’ll regret not having it if you need it more than you’ll regret having a bothersome bag.