Alternatives to EpiPen
When your child has a food allergy that could result in potentially life-threatening severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, it’s important to always have two epinephrine auto-injectors on hand. It’s usually taken for granted that an EpiPen is the auto-injector everyone would turn to, but did you know EpiPen is not the only option?
While EpiPen is effective and reliable, let’s take a look at other options so you know what’s available to you.
Alternative Brand Name Auto-Injectors
EpiPen is one brand name of an epinephrine auto-injector. EpiPen is for people who weigh 66 lbs. or more, while the company offers an EpiPen Jr. for those weighing 33 to 66 lbs. EpiPen is a good option, yet you may want alternatives because EpiPen is expensive, is costly to replace when it expires and has had problems with a limited supply available.
Other than EpiPen, there are alternate brand options, which currently include:
Adrenaclick, which is also expensive compared to other options
AUVI-Q, which comes through a direct mail delivery service and can be free with insurance or a certain income level
Just as you can find generic versions of many brand name prescription and over-the-counter drugs, there are generic versions of epinephrine auto-injectors. These can provide a more affordable option than a brand name version.
Current generic auto-injectors include the following:
Impax Epinephrine Injection is the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick. This means it is the same product from the same company but without the same label.
Mylan’s Epinephrine Injection is the authorized generic of EpiPen. This is the same drug and device from the same company as EpiPen.
Teva Epinephrine Injection is an FDA-approved generic equivalent of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr.
There is not currently a generic version of Auvi-Q.
A convenient compact injector is also coming on the market. Symjepi Injection offers this compact style while including the same active ingredient as regular auto-injectors. It comes with two prefilled, single-dose syringes of epinephrine and is easier for people to use.
Are Alternatives Safe?
The brand name and generic alternatives to EpiPen are just as safe and effective. You can use these instead of an EpiPen to handle a serious allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis. Like EpiPen, all of the alternatives contain epinephrine, which is a man-made substance designed to act like the natural hormone adrenaline.
Cost Considerations among the Alternatives
Alternatives are generally more affordable than EpiPen, which can make having an epinephrine auto-injector more accessible. Knowing about the different options can also help you compare costs and find ways to save so you can get the best deal. To make an informed decision, look into all the variables such as your health insurance plan’s preferred auto-injector and programs for saving money on specific auto-injectors. In some cases, your decision may come down to the type of auto-injectors that are available at a certain pharmacy or at a certain time, such as when there is a shortage.
It’s essential for children and adults with food allergies to have access to an epinephrine auto-injector at all times. You can talk to your doctor or allergist about whether your child needs one. While an auto-injector is often necessary, you can choose between an EpiPen and the numerous alternatives on the market to find the best fit for your needs. It’s possible to choose from one of the alternatives without sacrificing safety or quality, ensuring that you do everything you can to keep your child safe.
Do you or your child carry a brand of epinephrine auto-injector other than EpiPen or a generic version? Which one do you use, and is it less expensive then EpiPen?