ALLERGY sufferers are being urged to check their adrenaline pens after health bosses warned there may be a fault with a batch of injectors.
Health bosses say there is a risk of some Emerade pens failing to deliver a dose of adrenaline due to a blockage in the needle.
Just over two in every 1,000 pens, made by Bausch & Lomb UK Limited, are believed to be affected, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.
The product is not being recalled because there aren’t enough replacements available.
But if patients carry two pens with them at all times, as advised, the risk of not being able to deliver a dose is “substantially reduced”, MHRA said.
Healthcare professionals have been urged to contact all patients with the device and their carers.
The blockages warning applies to Emerade devices of all strengths – 150mcg, 300mcg and 500mcg solutions.
Government advice for allergy sufferers who carry an adrenaline pen
An adrenaline auto-injector is an injection device filled with adrenaline. You should use it to inject yourself if you have an anaphylactic reaction.
An anaphylactic reaction is a life-threatening allergic reaction which can happen very quickly. It can be set off by various triggers.
The most common triggers are certain foods, medicines, and wasp and bee stings.
An injection of adrenaline in the outer thigh is the best emergency, on-the-spot treatment for an anaphylactic reaction.
Every time you use an adrenaline auto-injector:
- Call 999, ask for an ambulance and state ‘anaphylaxis’, even if you start to feel better
- Lie flat with your legs up to keep your blood flowing. However, if you are having difficulty breathing, you may need to sit up to make breathing easier
- If you are able to, seek help immediately after using your auto-injector. If possible, avoid being on your own while waiting for the ambulance
- If you still feel unwell after the first injection, use your second injector to 15 minutes after the first
The MHRA advise you to always carry two adrenaline auto-injectors with you at all times and check the expiry date.
Despite the problem being first spotted in June last year during routine testing, the fault was thought to be rare as it involved only 1.5 in every 10,000 pens.
The MHRA said there are two alternative devices available in the UK and there are “insufficient supplies available of alternative brands to support the removal of one brand”.
A government spokesperson said: “Healthcare professionals should contact all patients, and their carers, who have been supplied with an Emerade device to inform them of the potential defect and reinforce the advice to always carry two in-date adrenaline autoinjectors with them at all times.
“This advice is provided in the approved patient information leaflet for Emerade, which should be provided to the patient or caregiver at dispensing.
“Patients experiencing any problem with Emerade failing to activate should report this via the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme and keep the pen for further examination.”
Lynne Regent, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said: “The Anaphylaxis Campaign recognises this is a very difficult time for patients who carry Emerade auto-injectors.
“We would like to take this opportunity to remind you and all individual who are prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector to always carry two devices at all times, to use your auto-injector at the first signs of anaphylaxis and to call 999, ask for an ambulance and say anaphylaxis.”
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