EpiPen (epinephrine) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed to treat allergic reactions in adults and children. EpiPen comes as an autoinjector that’s used in an emergency.
EpiPen is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type I emergency allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, in adults and children who weigh at least 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds).
EpiPen belongs to a drug class called alpha-adrenergic and beta-adrenergic receptor agonists. EpiPen is available in a generic version.
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of EpiPen, including its strengths and how to use the medication. For a comprehensive look at EpiPen, see this article.
Note: This article describes typical dosages for EpiPen provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When using EpiPen, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
The information below describes EpiPen’s typical dosages and other details about the drug.
EpiPen comes in two strengths:
- EpiPen: 0.3 milligrams (mg) epinephrine per 0.3 milliliters (mL) solution
- EpiPen Jr: 0.15 mg/0.3 mL
The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to use the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for allergic reaction in adults
Doctors may prescribe EpiPen to treat allergic reactions.
If you weigh 30 kilograms (kg) or more, your doctor will prescribe EpiPen 0.3 mg. One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb), so 30 kg is approximately 66 lb. You’ll use one EpiPen one time if you’re having an allergic reaction. If your allergic reaction does not go away or comes back, you may use a second EpiPen to give yourself another dose.
If you weigh between 15 kg and 30 kg (33 lb and 66 lb), your doctor will prescribe EpiPen Jr 0.15 mg. You’ll use one EpiPen Jr one time if you’re having an allergic reaction. If your allergic reaction does not go away or comes back, you may use a second EpiPen Jr to give yourself another dose.
For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.
EpiPen is approved to treat allergic reactions in children who weigh at least 15 kg. One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb), so 15 kg is approximately 33 lb.
If your child weighs between 15 kg and 30 kg, their doctor will prescribe EpiPen Jr 0.15 mg. You’ll give your child one injection one time if they are having an allergic reaction. If their allergic reaction does not go away or comes back, you may use a second EpiPen Jr to give them another dose.
If your child weighs 30 kg or more, their doctor will prescribe EpiPen 0.3 mg. You’ll give your child one injection one time if they are having an allergic reaction. If their allergic reaction does not go away or comes back, you may use a second EpiPen to give them another dose.
Talk with your child’s doctor if you have questions about their dosage.
EpiPen is used only as needed for allergic reactions. Doctors prescribe EpiPen for you to carry in case of an allergic reaction.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about how long you can expect to use EpiPen.
The EpiPen dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- your body weight
- how your body responds to EpiPen
- the severity of the allergic reaction you’re using EpiPen to treat
With a subcutaneous injection, you’ll inject the medication under your skin. With an intramuscular injection, you’ll inject the medication into a muscle. You’ll use the single-dose prefilled autoinjector pen to give yourself EpiPen. Your doctor will show you (or your caregiver) how to do it. Make sure to inject EpiPen according to your prescribed instructions.
EpiPen comes with a training device that does not contain any medication. You can use it to practice giving yourself or your child an injection.
You’ll store the EpiPen autoinjector at room temperature. Do not store it in the refrigerator.
You can self-inject EpiPen into your upper thigh and through clothing, if necessary. Do not inject EpiPen into the buttocks, hands, feet, fingers, or toes. Be sure to hold still while giving the injection.
If your allergic reaction does not go away or comes back, you may use a second EpiPen if your doctor has recommended doing so.
After using EpiPen, go to the nearest emergency room.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS
Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
It’s important that you do not use more EpiPen than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to harmful effects or overdose.
Effects of an overdose
Overdose effects of EpiPen can include:
- high blood pressure
- fluid in the lungs
- serious heart rhythm changes
- cold, pale skin
- kidney problems
If you take more than the recommended amount of EpiPen
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much EpiPen. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are some frequently asked questions about EpiPen.
How long does it take for EpiPen to start working?
EpiPen starts to work right away. Your allergic reaction should start to go away after you inject EpiPen. If your allergic reaction does not go away or comes back, you may use a second EpiPen to give another dose.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with EpiPen treatment.
What is the recommended maximum dosage of EpiPen?
The maximum dosage of EpiPen that’s recommended is one single-dose injection followed by a second single-dose injection, if your allergic reaction does not go away or comes back.
If you have questions or concerns about your dosage of EpiPen, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. If it seems like you need a higher dosage, ask your doctor whether a dosage increase is right for you. Do not increase your dosage unless your doctor recommends doing so.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends EpiPen for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of EpiPen without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of EpiPen that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about EpiPen. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about EpiPen: For information about other aspects of EpiPen, refer to this article.
- Interactions: For details about what EpiPen interacts with, see this article.
- Details about allergic reactions: For details about allergic reactions, see our allergies and reactions hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.