Food allergies impact between four and six percent of children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And if your kiddo has one of these potentially life-threatening allergies (or a similar type of reaction to something else, such as a bee sting), you know what an EpiPen is. The Epinephrine auto-injector is an absolute necessity for anyone who has an anaphylactic shock-causing allergy. But now, due to an EpiPen shortage, you may not be able to get this life-saver for your child.

Earlier this week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a statement that there is currently a shortage of EpiPens (manufactured by Mylan Specialty). The shortage isn’t anticipated to be a long-term issue, but it could affect anyone who uses an epinephrine pen. According to the FDA’s website, “intermittent supply constraints due to manufacturing delays from the manufacturing partner, Meridian Medical technologies, a Pfizer company” is the issue here.

So does this mean that your child won’t have access to their much-needed pen? It could, but it might not. There isn’t just one epinephrine pen on the market. And that means your child may be able to get a generic version of the EpiPen or need to switch brands.

The current FDA advisory notes that the shortage affects pens manufactured by Impax Laboratories and that the shortage reason is, “Related to good manufacturing practices.” There is no exact availability date or estimate shortage duration number given. If your child uses Kaleo’s AUVI-Q , you’re in luck. This pen is currently available and not in a shortage status.

Families with children (or adults for that matter) who use EpiPens should check the expiration dates to ensure that they can locate new pens before their current ones expire. More information and current updates on the EpiPen shortage are available on the FDA’s website.

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: Courtesy of Mylan


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