Bad news for allergy sufferers: there could be a shortage of EpiPens in certain parts of the US, according to a report from the Food and Drug Administration. The group announced on May 9 that both Adrenaclick and the generic brand Mylan's EpiPens are having distribution issues. What does this mean for parents? Your kiddos might not be able to get their typical prescription at the pharmacy.
Dr. James Baker, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan and CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), explained that this can be particularly problematic for kids who have recently needed to use their EpiPen or who have one that's expired.
"They need to be careful. If they run out, they can't just run to the pharmacy and get a new one," he told Today. And although some brands of EpiPens are available, like Auvi-Q, if it's not your child's go-to brand, you should double-check that you know how to use it.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology echoed this sentiment on its website: "If you have a severe allergy and carry epinephrine, it is important to know that each brand functions a little differently. The stress of an anaphylactic reaction is not the time to realize you have a different autoinjector than what was demonstrated to you by your allergist."
Parents are encouraged to compare their children's prescriptions if they receive a different EpiPen.
"The next time you pick up your prescription, be sure to compare the brand and dose you received with the brand you have been trained to use. If the medication appears to be different than what you expected, find out why a substitution was made. Also, be sure to get a demonstration on how to use the product."
For now, the FDA doesn't have an exact date for when the distribution issues will be resolved.