How to Store Your EpiPen this Summer

15 Feb 2022

An EpiPen is a type of epinephrine injection device administered in the upper mid thigh when someone is experiencing a severe allergic reaction.

Having an EpiPen in an accessible location and in good working condition can save someone’s life.

The way you store an EpiPen can affect its performance and effectiveness. This can be more challenging in hot weather. Understanding how to keep an EpiPen cool in the proper way is crucial.

In this article, we discuss:

  • The ideal temperature range is for storing EpiPens
  • The most effective storage methods
  • How to tell if an EpiPen needs replacing

What’s the ideal temperature for an EpiPen?

Epinephrine auto injectors such as EpiPens should be stored in a cool dark place at room temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees celsius.

They should not be placed in the refrigerator or freezer as temperatures below 15 degrees can damage the mechanisms inside the device.

Temperatures above 30 degrees celsius can affect the potency and stability of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). In hot climates, temperature control for adrenaline auto injectors is important to ensure they will work when needed.

 

How to store your EpiPen in hot weather

Understanding how to properly store an EpiPen in hot weather can mean all the difference in the case of an allergic reaction.

Follow these best practices for storing EpiPens:

Choose somewhere accessible

EpiPens should always be stored somewhere accessible so that they can be quickly obtained in an emergency. They should not be locked away in a cupboard, placed behind other items or out of arm’s reach. The person with an allergy and any first responders on site should be able to quickly and easily get to it. EpiPen station could be the best option to keep it proper place.

Whether you’re storing an EpiPen at home, the workplace or school, it’s important to keep the location consistent so that first responders can find it as quickly as possible. If the person at risk also has asthma, the EpiPen should be stored with the asthma medication.

Keep away from direct sunlight

Exposure to UV radiation can cause the adrenaline to degrade over time. It’s important to store EpiPens in a dark location out of direct sunlight without compromising on accessibility. An accessible cupboard, a storage container or insulated bag are often ideal.

Don’t leave it in the car

When out and about, it’s important not to store EpiPens in the car. Cars can easily overheat, especially when parked in direct sunlight. High temperatures will compromise the performance of the adrenaline and may make the EpiPen unsafe for emergency treatment. Carrying the EpiPen in a carrying case or insulated wallet is more appropriate.

 

How to keep an EpiPen cool

It’s important to store EpiPens at safe temperatures to avoid degradation and damage. In the harsh Australian climate, it can be a challenge to keep adrenaline auto injectors within a safe temperature range.

Follow these tips on how to keep an EpiPen cool:

Don’t place in the fridge

EpiPens should not be placed in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them cool. Don’t use ice packs to cool down an EpiPen either. Cold temperatures can damage the mechanisms inside the injector and make it unsafe to use in an emergency situation.

Use an insulated bag

The best way to control temperatures for an EpiPen is by storing it in an insulated bag or wallet. This will protect the EpiPen from extreme cold or hot conditions without having a negative effect on the mechanisms inside the injector.

You can buy epipen cases in a range of designs for various purposes. Cases with a belt are good for easy access on the go. Double cases are ideal as some emergencies may require more than one dose of adrenaline to stop symptoms.

 

When should you replace your EpiPen?

In Australia, all EpiPen auto injectors are required by law to have an expiry date. This is typically around 1 year from the date of manufacture. The relatively short shelf life is due to the instability of epinephrine (adrenaline).

EpiPens should be replaced just before the expiry date has passed. To avoid not having an up to date EpiPen on hand, be sure to order replacements early. Setting a phone reminder or other memory device when the expiry date is approaching is a good idea.

EpiPen and EpiPen Jr contain a small window for inspecting the epinephrine liquid. You should periodically check the liquid for signs of discolouration or visible particles and replace if either is present.

 

Storing an EpiPen properly could save a life

Knowing what to do if someone goes into anaphylactic shock is crucial whether you’re a parent, first responder or bystander. Knowing how to keep an EpiPen cool and where to store it could make all the difference in the case of an emergency.

At LFA First Response, we understand how important it is to be prepared with the right tools and equipment to handle any situation. We stock a range of EpiPen Australia and EpiPen Jr products, including insulated cases and bags and training EpiPens for first aid officers.