How to use an Anapen adrenaline injector

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction which can be fatal within minutes. The main treatment of anaphylaxis is the drug Adrenaline (UK) / Epinephrine (US). People diagnosed with anaphylaxis often carry adrenaline in the form of an auto-injector to use if they start to develop symptoms.

The most commonly known brand name for an adrenaline/epinephrine injector is Epi-pen. However there are a variety of other different brands in use, it is important to be aware of these as they work in slightly different ways.

In this blog post, we will look at how to use the Anapen adrenaline injector. The Anapen is more common in the United Kingdom.

How to use an Anapen 

  1. Remove the Anapen from its packaging and check the expiry date.
  2. Remove the needle cap – black boot — at the base of the device by pulling gently outwards and look inside the bottom of the device to make sure the grey needle sheath has come out.
  3. Remove the black safety cap from the top of the device to expose the red firing button
  4. Hold the Anapen with your thumb closest to the red button.
  5. Press the Anapen firmly against the outer thigh at a right angle ensuring the red firing button is facing away from the thigh.
  6. Press the red firing button. You will hear a click at the moment of injection. Hold in place for 10 seconds and then remove. Massage the area for around 10 seconds
  7. Tap down the protruding needle on a hard surface to avoid needlestick injury
  8. If the casualty does not respond or the signs and symptoms return after use of the first Anapen and you have access to a second Anapen you should give a second injection

Video: How to use an Anapen



John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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