It's incredibly difficult to be the parent of a child with life-threatening allergies. You have to make so many adjustments to your daily life, from what your child eats to who they are able to spend time with. You spend your time fighting with schools and day cares to insure your child is kept safe in their care. You have to keep your child home from activities like trick-or-treating, or find homes that understand and make accommodations for kids with food allergies. It's a constant battle, and it can be exhausting. Most parents of kids with food allergies rely on having an Epi-Pen on hand, for those situations where their kid is exposed to an allergen and suffers a reaction. But a new warning from the FDA has some allergy parents scrambling to figure out of their pens are going to be able to function as promised.
Thankfully, there's nothing wrong with the actual Epi-Pens themselves. But, a packaging issue could impede the pen from being able to slide out of the packaging. And in the midst of a life-threatening allergic reaction, those seconds can mean the difference between life and death. The FDA has issued a warning about some packages of Epi-Pens, because labeling was placed improperly and might make a quick removal from the package difficult. Instead of sliding right out as it's designed to do, the label could cause the pen to become stuck in the carrier tube.
Less than 1% of Epi-Pens in circulation have been affected by the misplaced label. And thankfully, no one has been hurt by this product issue. The FDA says the labeling issue affects the following Epi-Pens:
- EpiPen® 0.3 mg (EpiPen® NDC 49502-500-02) (Authorized Generic NDC 49502-102- 02) products with the labeled expiry on the device and carton between June 2018 and February 2020.
- EpiPen Jr® 0.15 mg (EpiPen Jr® NDC 49502-501-02) (Authorized Generic NDC 49502- 101-02) products with the labeled expiry on the device and carton between October 2018 and October 2019
If your pen is included in the warning, check that it isn't impeded by the label. You don't have to use the actual pen itself to check. Just try to take it out of the protective carrier and see if it catches on the label. If it does, take it to your pharmacy ASAP for a replacement. Again, in the event of an allergic reaction, every single second counts.