Free AuviQ® vs Epi Pen®

Usually, people with allergies have things like a runny nose, watery eyes and rash. They don’t need emergency medical care. However, we do see people in Grand Rapids that occasionally come into contact with an allergen causing a severe reaction that needs treatment right away and failure to do so might even result in death. The first time you’re exposed to a known allergen, the first attack usually subsides without causing much drama but our immune system becomes sensitized to it. During a second exposure, a severe allergic reaction causes difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, fainting, and other issues that can be fatal without an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot immediately.

For people who are at risk for anaphylaxis from severe allergies, an epinephrine auto-injector is a must to carry. Epi Pen® and AuviQ® are both intramuscular epinephrine delivery systems. Both are pretty easy to use and that makes it easier to self-administer. There are a couple of similarities and differences between the two auto-injectors.

The market-dominating Epi Pen® is shaped like a pen and it has a safety cap on one end (blue) with the spring-loaded needle (orange) on the other end. The Epi Pen® is comparatively larger which makes it easier to find during an emergency. The correct way to hold it is, as we say in our classes here at Grand Rapids Healthcare Training, ‘blue to the sky and orange to my thigh.’ Press it against the outer thigh and with a click, it quickly delivers the correct dosage. However, people sometimes hold it backward resulting in a needle in the thumb and no medicine….and lots of pain.

AuviQ® is a smaller & rectangular, fits in your pocket and because of this men like the compact design, unlike females who can carry larger devices in their handbags. You have to remove it from the outer case, pull off the red safety guard and press the ‘black end’ against outer thigh which delivers the medicine.

Both Epi Pen® and AuviQ® comes in two doses, 0.15mg, and 0.3 mg depending on the weight of the user. 0.3 is for 66 lbs or more and the other is for 33 to 66 lbs.

A unique feature in the AuviQ® is that it tells with a voice prompt users how to use it. This actually might come in handy in a situation where the person is too freaked out to be able to read the instructions written on an Epi Pen®. The five-second countdown with a ‘beep’ and blinking red light at the end are unique features of AuviQ®.

Despite the other available auto-injectors, Epi Pen® still dominates the market selling 1.7 billion devices in 2015 but that may change.

Both brands are widely available for prescription. Here’s something coll though. Doctors can write a prescription for the AuviQ® on February 14, 2017, for $0. For those with insurance including high-deductible plans, it costs $0 dollars out of your pocket and for others with less than $100,000 household income it is also available free of charge. This is going to be only at CVS locations. (see below for the West Michigan CVS locations)

Both AuviQ® & Epi Pen® are well recognized as treatment of anaphylactic shock. Just make sure you call 911 when you use one.

CVS Locations:
1550 LAKE ROAD SOUTHEAST
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49506

1155 FULLER AVENUE
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49503

727 28TH STREET
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49548

3601 CLYDE PARK SOUTHWEST
WYOMING, MI 49509

3590 PLAINFIELD AVENUE
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49525

5120 28TH ST SE
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49512

3248 ALPINE AVE NW
WALKER, MI 49544

2375 28TH STREET SOUTHWEST
WYOMING, MI 49509

5225 EASTERN AVENUE SOUTHEAST
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49508

5455 CLYDE PARK AVE SW
WYOMING, MI 49509