epinephrine injection (Auvi-Q)

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

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What is epinephrine injection Auvi-Q, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Auvi-Q is an auto-injectable epinephrine-containing device used for self-administration during life-threatening allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Auvi-Q is an epinephrine auto-injector that talks the user step by step through the injection process. Epinephrine, the medicine contained in Auvi-Q, is an excitatory chemical naturally made by our bodies. Epinephrine stimulates alpha and beta adrenergic receptors found throughout the body. When injected during an allergic reaction, epinephrine works in multiple ways to treat the many signs of anaphylaxis. It causes blood vessels to constrict or tighten which helps to increase blood pressure and decrease swelling. Epinephrine also stimulates the heart muscle, causing the heart to beat faster and pump more blood to the vital organs. Epinephrine helps patient's breathe better by relaxing the muscles in the lungs and allowing the airways to open up. Additionally, it also helps to prevent further release of inflammatory chemicals that were triggered by the initial allergic reaction.

Auvi-Q was approved by the FDA in 2012.

What brand names are available for epinephrine injection Auvi-Q?

Auvi-Q

Is epinephrine injection Auvi-Q available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Although auto-injectable epinephrine is available in generic forms, a generic version of Auvi-Q device is currently not available.

Do I need a prescription for epinephrine injection Auvi-Q?

Yes

What are the side effects of epinephrine injection Auvi-Q?

The most common side effects of Auvi-Q include:

Auvi-Q is intended for administration in the muscle or fat tissues in the outer thigh only. Injecting Auvi-Q in other areas of the body including the buttocks, hands, or feet may not provide effective treatment of anaphylaxis and may even cause side effects.

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What is the dosage for epinephrine injection Auvi-Q?

Auvi-Q is available in two strengths, 0.15 mg and 0.3 mg. The selection of the appropriate strength is based on the patient's body weight. Patients weighing = 30 kg (approximately = 66 pounds) should use Auvi-Q 0.3 mg. Patients weighing 15 to 30 kg (approximately 33 to 66 pounds) should use Auvi-Q 0.15 mg. It is not known if Auvi-Q is safe and effective for use in children weighing less than 15 kg (33 pounds).

Each device contains only 1 dose of medicine and can only be used once. Auvi-Q should be injected into the muscle of the outer thigh. If needed, Auvi-Q may be injected through clothing.

Which drugs or supplements interact with epinephrine injection Auvi-Q?

Administration of epinephrine to patients taking cardiac glycosides, diuretics (water pills), or drugs for treating irregular heartbeats (antiarrhythmics) can cause the development of irregular heartbeats.

The effects of epinephrine may be enhanced by medicines such as tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl), and certain antihistamines.

The treatment benefits of epinephrine can be reduced by beta-adrenergic blocking medicines such as propranolol (Inderal) and alpha-adrenergic blocking medicines such as phentolamine (Regitine, OraVerse).

Some anti-migraine medications may also interfere with the benefits of epinephrine treatment.

Patients should speak with their pharmacist for a complete list of all drug interactions, and check if any of their current medications have any meaningful interactions with Auvi-Q.

Is epinephrine injection Auvi-Q safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Use of epinephrine has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Use of epinephrine in animal studies was associated with birth defects. Epinephrine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Epinephrine is classified as FDA pregnancy risk category C (animal studies show an adverse effect on the fetus).

It is not known if epinephrine is excreted in breast milk. Since many drugs are excreted in human milk and have the potential of causing harm to the nursing infant, caution should be used when Auvi-Q is administered to a nursing mother.

What else should I know about epinephrine injection Auvi-Q?

What preparations of epinephrine injection Auvi-Q are available?

Injection: 0.3 mg (0.3 mg/0.3ml) and 0.15 (0.15 mg/0.15 ml) prefilled auto injector.

How should I keep epinephrine injection Auvi-Q stored?

Auvi-Q should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Auvi-Q should not be refrigerated. The medicine contained in Auvi-Q is light sensitive and should be protected from the light. Auvi-Q should always be stored in the outer case provided by the manufacturer.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 3/25/2015

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Reviewed on 3/25/2015
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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