How To Use An EpiPen

Hopefully you aren’t having to use an EpiPen
too frequently, so it’s understandable if you need
a refresher on how to use one!
Follow our step-by-step guide below. Or better yet,
come and familiarise yourself with our “hands-on” EpiPen training included in our first aid course.

EpiPen –

What Is It?


The EpiPen is a disposable, automatic injection used in the first aid setting for the management of anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction. It contains a synthetic version of adrenaline called epinephrine; hence the name EpiPen. Evidence suggests that delayed administration of epinephrine leads to a higher rate of fatalities.

“Adrenaline is a naturally occurring hormone…”


How To Administer It

  1. Call 000.
  2. Lie the patient flat (if possible), but if they are having trouble breathing keep them seated upright.
  3. Remove the allergen.
  4. Check the EpiPen’s expiry date and make sure the solution is clear.
  5. Hold firmly with the orange tip pointing down towards the mid-thigh.
    Blue to the sky, Orange to the thigh…”

  6. Remove blue safety cap by pulling straight upwards (no bending or twisting).
  7. Push the orange tip firmly into the mid outer thigh until you hear a “click”.
  8. Hold in place for 3 seconds.
  9. Remove from patient’s thigh, the orange needle cover will automatically extend to cover the needle.
  10. Safely dispose of autoinjector (preferably into a sharps container).
  11. Re-administer a second EpiPen if little or no improvement after 5 minutes.

    EpiPens are quick to take effect, but will WEAR OFF just as quickly!



    NOTE: Adrenaline is fast acting, but also has a relatively short half-life (meaning it wears off quickly). Consider the need for subsequent doses after approximately 5 minutes. This is why most known anaphylactics’ tend to carry at least 2 EpiPens’ with them at all times.


    The more you know!


    Submit a Comment


    learnfirst aid