Recent changes in the price of the EpiPen has spurred interest in alternative devices that are similar to the EpiPen but cost less. Fortunately, patients have options that cost less than the $600 EpiPen. The EpiPen is an injection device (auto-injector) that delivers epinephrine (the active chemical in EpiPen) into the blood stream once injected into the muscle (intramuscularly) or under the skin (subcutaneously). It is the epinephrine that reduces the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. Therefore, any device (including a syringe) that can be quickly used to deliver epinephrine safely into the bloodstream at the right dose should work just as well as the EpiPen.
Adrenaclick is an epinephrine auto-injector that is similar to the EpiPen. Like the EpiPen, Adrenaclick is used for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. In addition, each Adrenaclick prefilled auto-injector delivers 0.15 mg (similar to EpiPen Jr) or 0.3 mg (similar to EpiPen). The dosing of Adrenaclick is also similar to the dosing for EpiPen and it is also administered by intramuscular injection or subcutaneously. Since both devices deliver an equivalent dose of epinephrine the effect, side effects, and drug interactions should also be the same.
According to GoodRx, a pack of 2 Adrenaclick auto-injectors ranges from $466 to $509 with a free coupon.
Epinephrine Injection, Auto-injector
The epinephrine auto-injector is an authorized generic version of Adrenaclick. This means that the manufacturer of Adrenaclick has authorized another company to sell a generic version of Adrenaclick. Therefore, the epinephrine auto-injector device works the same way as Adrenaclick. The good news is that the generic version costs much less than brand name Adrenaclick.
According to GoodRx, a pack of 2 epinephrine auto-injectors costs $144 to $379 with free coupons.
Syringes and Epinephrine
Epinephrine can also be administered using a manual syringe. Although this method is not as convenient, it is effective and is the cheapest option. Patients and parents will require training on how to inject epinephrine with a syringe. In the hospital setting, there is concern that epinephrine may be administered intravenously instead of intramuscularly if vials are used instead of auto-injectors. In the community setting, there is also a concern that patients or parents may administer the wrong amount of medication or inject the drug inappropriately. To reduce the chance of medication errors pre-filled syringes containing the correct amount of epinephrine should be prepared for patients by healthcare professionals. The cost of a 1 mg vial of epinephrine plus syringes is about $20. Pre-filled epinephrine syringes should be replaced every 3 months.