Anaphylaxis is a serious and potentially life-threatening systemic allergic reaction that can be induced by allergens such as food, medication and insect stings. Current guidelines recommend epinephrine as first-line treatment of anaphylaxis. Epinephrine auto-injectors are recommend for patients to carry to those who are at risk. Studies have shown that patients and caregivers sometimes incorrectly use their epinephrine auto-injectors and lacerations or accidental digit/palm injections have been reported. EpiPen Failure, can epinephrine injectors improve?
With the price of Epipen so high (Why is the Epipen Price so High?), many competitors have come to the market.
A recent study looked to compare the usability and preference of epinephrine auto-injectors, mainly Epipen or Auvi-Q. The aim of the study was to see how untrained adults were able to use the two devices and to see their preference in a simulated life-threatening allergic emergency-use scenario.
*The study and editorial assistance was funded by kaleo (the manufacturer of Auvi-q). Authors of the study were also employees of kaleo.
Results: Approximately 100 adults were included in the study.
- Significantly more adults completed all injections tasks per device instructions with Auvi-Q vs Epipen (85% vs 20%)
- Significant differences were also observed for completion of key injection tasks (Auvi-Q 95%, Epipen 73%)
- No hand/digital injection errors were ween with Auvi-Q, whereas 15% of participants with Epipen would have accidentally receive a digital/hand injection.
- Overall, significantly more participants preferred Auvi-Q over Epipen (91.7% vs. 6.3%) 2.1% had no preference.
Of note in this study is that these adults were all untrained and did not have any product information leaflets or had access to videos demonstrating usage of the devices. When an allergist prescribes these devices, we always try to demonstrate how to use them. In each two pack, a trainer is also given for both Epipen and Auvi-Q, so a parent or patient can practice using it before an actual emergency occurs.
Nevertheless, untrained adults preferred and more likely to use Auvi-Q correctly vs Epipen.