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It’s 32 degrees outside — do I know where our auto-injectors are?

So we had our first couple of freezing nights down here in the Deep South … although some of you have already had way colder weather. I was glad that we have a good habit instilled in DD to never leave her epinephrine auto-injectors in the car or in a book bag that stays in the car … 

But I was ALSO very reassured by a recent study that I read about the effects on . According to the press release about the study, the auto-injector still fired. 

[The research indicated] freezing did not affect how the EAIs functioned once they were thawed.

The research only applies to the brand EpiPen, so more research would need to be done before the findings could apply to other brand names. 

Heat, on the other hand, was not so kind. A study on the  reported on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website said this:

The study found even a single, short-time exposure to heat in a car during a sunny day can decrease epinephrine concentration in autoinjectors. If such degradation turns out to be progressive or cumulative, it could result in significant underdosage of epinephrine during anaphylaxis.

Kids With Food Allergies (part of AAFA) has been following this a long time. They had an older blog post covering  as well.

The press release about cold and freezing said this:

If you have an EAI that was unintentionally frozen, and you experience an anaphylactic reaction, it’s better to use a ‘thawed’ device than nothing at all. However, you should talk with your allergist about a prescription for a new device.

Have you ever accidentally left an epinephrine auto-injector in your car? What did your allergist suggest? What are some ways that you protect your auto-injectors from extreme temps?

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Comments 4

  • Pljohns

    Thankfully mine stays in my purse but I tend to leave nebulizer meds in the car-have to remember to put those in my bag that goes into work and into the house every day-

    Thanks for the reminder cynthia!

  • Melissa G

    Unfortunately we have left epi-pens in the car…. Josh now carries his epi's in a sling bag. Since getting that bag he hasn't left his epi's in the car. 

    Bekah keeps her epi's in her backpack that she wears 24/7, so she has never left a set in extreme temps. 

  • LK

    I carry mine in my purse and always have it with me when I am out and about and bring it in the house when I am home.  I have a cross purse/shoulder bag that I put my meds in when I go to the horse barn.  I need to keep in mind the temperatures over there when I am there for more than a few minutes.  Thanks for the reminder!

  • K8sMom2002

    Sounds like two really great approaches!

    I'm definitely going to share that research with my DD. She's pretty good about remembering her auto-injectors in the cold … but it's the summer, when she's wearing cute summery outfits that she always asks, "Do I REALLY have to take my purse with me EVERYWHERE? Even if I'm just running in a store for just a FEW minutes?"

    So now I have scientific research showing that, yep, those auto-injectors need to go everywhere!