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Today's Pollen Count

Data last updated: 04/23/2024

Detailed pollen information

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Low

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Medium

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Medium

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Pollen counts are updated daily from February 15 to November 15.
Last updated: October 30, 2023
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Bailee Gilchrist, MD
Medically reviewed by
Bailee Gilchrist, MD
We have prepared a comprehensive guide to help you understand all there is to know about Epinephrine injectors like EpiPens® and Auvi-Qs®, from what they are and how they work, to when and how to use them on yourself or someone else. Additionally, we’ll be covering key information such as dosages, expiration dates, storage, and administration tips. This knowledge can be crucial in emergency situations and can help ensure that you or your loved ones receive timely and effective treatment for severe allergic reactions.

Jump Ahead:


What is an EpiPen® and How Does it Work?

An EpiPen® is a life-saving device that contains epinephrine, a medication that can quickly and effectively treat severe allergic reactions. Epinephrine is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that plays a crucial role in the body’s response to stress, including allergic reactions. When an EpiPen® is injected into a person’s thigh, the epinephrine in the device quickly enters the bloodstream and helps to reverse the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis. Epinephrine works by constricting blood vessels and relaxing the airway muscles, which helps to increase blood pressure and open up the airways, allowing the person to breathe more easily. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, rapid heartbeat, hives or rash, nausea or vomiting, and dizziness or fainting. In severe cases, anaphylaxis can lead to shock, cardiac arrest, or even death if not treated quickly and effectively. The use of an EpiPen® can help to rapidly alleviate the symptoms of anaphylaxis and prevent complications. However, it is important to seek emergency medical attention immediately after using an EpiPen®, as additional treatment may be necessary to fully manage the symptoms of anaphylaxis.

When to use an EpiPen®

An EpiPen® should be used in case of a severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hives or rash
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
If you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to an allergen, it is important to use your EpiPen® immediately and seek emergency medical attention.

How to Use an EpiPen® Auto-Injector

  • Retrieve the EpiPen® Auto-Injector from its carrier tube.
  • Remember the phrase “Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh.”
  • Hold the EpiPen® with the orange tip pointing downward and grasp it firmly.
  • Remove the blue safety cap by pulling it straight up, avoiding bending or twisting.
  • Position the orange tip against the middle of the outer thigh.
  • Apply a swinging motion and press the auto-injector firmly into the thigh until a “click” sound is heard.
  • Count slowly to three while holding the EpiPen® in place: “1, 2, 3.”
It is important to note that when using an EpiPen® on yourself, you may experience some discomfort or pain at the injection site. This is normal and should subside within a few minutes.

How to Use an EpiPen® Auto-Injector on Someone Else

  • Remove the safety cap from the EpiPen®.
  • Hold the EpiPen® firmly in your hand, with the orange tip pointing downwards.
  • Position the person’s thigh so that it is exposed and easily accessible.
  • With your other hand, firmly grasp the person’s thigh and hold it still.
  • Place the EpiPen® against the person’s thigh and push it firmly into their thigh until you hear a click. Hold the EpiPen® in place for at least three seconds.
  • Remove the EpiPen® and massage the injection site for 10 seconds.
When using an EpiPen® on someone else, it is important to remember to position yourself in a safe and comfortable way to avoid injury to yourself or the person you are helping. If possible, have the person sit or lie down before administering the EpiPen®. In both cases, it is important to seek emergency medical attention immediately after using the EpiPen®, even if the person’s symptoms have improved. Anaphylaxis can cause a rapid and severe reaction, and additional treatment may be necessary to fully manage the symptoms.

What to Know About EpiPens®

  • EpiPens® come in different doses for different age groups. Make sure you have the correct dose for yourself or your child.
  • EpiPens® have expiration dates, and should be replaced before they expire.
  • EpiPens® should be stored at room temperature, and should not be exposed to extreme heat or cold.
  • It is important to always carry your EpiPen® with you, especially when traveling or engaging in outdoor activities.
Things to avoid when using an EpiPen® for different ages:
  • Children under the age of 6 should have their EpiPen® injected into their thigh, as they may not have enough muscle mass for an arm injection.
  • Older children and adults should receive the EpiPen® injection in their outer thigh.
  • Avoid injecting the EpiPen® into a vein, as this can lead to serious complications.
EpiPens® are a critical tool in the management of severe allergic reactions. Knowing how to use an EpiPen®, when to use it, and what to avoid can help ensure that you or your loved ones are prepared for an emergency. If you have any questions or concerns about EpiPens®, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider.

Contact Us

To schedule or request an appointment with one of our physicians, please call 704-372-7900