Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Be Aware of the Generic Epinephrine Autoinjector

Thanks to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology for the following update.

It has come to our attention that there is a generic epinephrine autoinjector (without a specific name) that is being distributed by Greenstone (a generic division of Pfizer). According to Greenstone's website, this injector is identical to a product named Adrenaclick, distributed by Shionogi Pharma. Apparently Shionogi has authorized Greenstone to distribute the same device as an unbranded or "generic" item.

We call your attention to this because it may result in substitution by the pharmacy of the generic for a brand name prescription, or vice versa. The issue which merits comment is that the instructions for the administration of EpiPen, a product distributed by Mylan Pharmaceuticals, is different than the instructions for the administration of either the Adrenaclick or the "generic" automatic epinephrine injector. There is presently no generic autoinjector which employs the same administration technique as the EpiPen.

Thus, you may have trained your patient for the administration of one type of injector, and the pharmacy may provide another type on which the patient has not been trained. During the stress of an anaphylactic reaction, this may be confusing to a patient and could result in the delay or perhaps an error in the administration of the drug.

You can view each type of injector and the instructions for its administration at each of the respective websites: www.adrenaclick.com; www.epipen.com; dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=16934

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