Stories about: EpiPen

Ask the Expert: What does the Auvi-Q recall mean for my child?

Auvi-Q (2)


Sanofi has recalled all of its Auvi-Q epinephrine auto injectors from the market. Parents of children who rely on the Auvi-Q need an alternative and a plan for their children.

“Parents should be able to get a replacement for Auvi-Q with very little trouble,” says Dr. John Lee, director of the Boston Children’s Food Allergy Program. Lee provides additional advice for how families can handle the Auvi-Q recall.

Why was the Auvi-Q recalled?

Sanofi recalled the Auvi-Q injectors because it had received 26 reports of the device delivering inaccurate doses of ephinenphrine. No deaths have been reported, but an inaccurate dose can have significant health consequences.

What should I do if my child uses the Auvi-Q injector?

Contact your child’s doctor immediately for a replacement injector from another brand. Parents need to contact a physician for a new prescription; you cannot go to the pharmacy to buy an epinephrine injector without a prescription.

Different devices have different mechanisms, so parents need to be trained how to use the new injector. Ask your pharmacist to show you how the injector works, or go to the manufacturer’s website to review directions for the new injector.

Do NOT dispose of Auvi-Q injectors until you have a replacement. If your child experiences an emergency or goes into anaphylaxis and an Auvi-Q is the only option available, you should use it.

Finally, save any receipts and pharmacy documentation, because Sanofi is reimbursing its customers for the cost of replacement injectors. Visit Auvi-Q for more details.

Boston Children’s patient families can contact the Division of Allergy and Immunology at 617-355-6117 to request a new prescription.

What are the alternatives to Auvi-Q?

The alternatives to Auvi-Q are:

  • EpiPen
  • Adrenaclick
  • Generic equivalents

Will the recall affect other epinephrine injectors?

The recall does not affect other brands, and there is plenty of inventory available to meet the needs of patients and families who rely on epinephrine injectors.

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One EpiPen may not be enough

stockphotopro_639255auv_peanuts_A recent study by Children’s Hospital Boston found that children who suffer from severe food allergies should carry two EpiPens, because the dosage found in one may not be enough.

Susan Rudders, MD, of Children’s Division of Allergy and Immunology was first author on the study, which found that 12 percent of 1,200 children monitored who suffered anaphylactic shock as a result of a food allergy needed a second dose from an EpiPen to fully recover from their reaction.

Based on the findings, Rudders suggests that parents who keep EpiPens on hand for their food allergenic kids carry a second dose with them in case it’s needed during a severe reaction.

The study, done in conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital, was published in the latest issue of Pediatrics. It was reported on by Booster Shots–the Los Angeles Times blog, The Boston Globe and WebMD health news.

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