Leading pharmacists will recommend out-of-date Auto Injector product for patients with anaphylaxis risk.
The following information has been reported by ABC Health.
A shortage of life-saving Auto injector devices for young children has seen experts recommend the use of out-of-date stock or devices containing adult doses to treat severe allergic reactions.
Across the country, pharmacists are experiencing a short-term shortage of auto injector Junior devices – adrenaline auto-injectors used to treat life-threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis (an acute allergic reaction) that can prevent death and brain damage.
The shortage means it is not possible for parents and carers to buy replacements for expired devices or those due to expire during November.
In a statement, Mylan Australia, which distributes the Auto injector products, said the shortage was due to a delay in supply from the overseas manufacturer.
To bridge the gap, the company is offering eligible patients a free auto injector, but those devices will expire on November 30.
Pharmacists and allergy specialists say there are other options available for those whose auto-injectors have expired.
There is no harm in using an expired auto injector
“When patients and family members come in seeking stock, our advice to them is if they have an out-of-date or expired pen at home, providing it’s not discoloured, they can still use that,” pharmacist Anthony Tassone told RN Breakfast.
Professor Katie Allen, a paediatric allergist based at Murdoch Institute, said there was no harm in using expired devices.
“The issue about an expired device is that the adrenaline’s efficiency is decaying with time,” she said.
“There’s no doubt that manufacturers are going to have a buffer zone in there because they can’t afford to get it wrong. So it might be weeks or months before it starts to decay.”
Professor Allen said it was likely the devices would still be effective several weeks after they expire.
Adult auto injectors also an option for some children
Children weighing more than 20 kilograms were also able to use 300 micrograms or adult dose.
The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) recommend a full-strength auto injectors when you reach 20 kilograms, even if someone is 19 kilograms it would be safe to give them a 300 microgram, adult devices because they are going to grow in the next few months.
There is also another product available, it’s rarely prescribed and if you want more information you should speak to your doctor or local chemist.
All childcare workers, teachers and carers of children are encouraged to be trained in first aid, anaphylaxis and asthma, HLTAID004.
If you require training on the Gold Coast, check this course for dates and times.