The Asthma Center

Epinephrine for Injection (Self Administration)

Epinephrine medications are dispensed if you are at particularly high risk for a severe asthmatic attack that might not respond to inhaler or nebulizer treatment. In this form of administration, the medication is injected under the skin or into the muscle and will definitely get into your system no matter how badly your lungs are obstructed. Injected epinephrine in any form can be a lifesaver since it can buy you enough time to be safely transported to the emergency room.

EpiPen®, EpiPen Jr® (a smaller dose for children) and Twinject™ are epinephrine products that can be used as emergency medications during a severe asthma episode that does not respond to inhaler or nebulizer treatment. Epinephrine can be administered in a preloaded, premeasured dose syringe in which you manually inject epinephrine. Epinephrine also can be drawn up from a medication vial, and you can inject a specified dose. Any of these methods will be equally effective, and the method you use will depend on your needs. Side effects of epinephrine injections usually last less than an hour or two and are similar in nature to, but more intense than, those described with the use of inhaled ß2-agonists.