Verify anything we say with your own doctors. Please let us know if you learn something different.

We knew the two EpiPens in our first-aid kit were out-of-date, but recent misbehavior by the mfg. (with assistance from the crony-support department of the FDA) means that there are few options. A replacement set was $700. A generic replacement set was $500. Since we don’t have any known scary allergies, and were only packing this as deep back-up, we just decided to skip the whole anaphylaxis treatment regime.

Then we talked to a great doctor (allergist) we’ve known for years. First he recommended ordering a kit from Canada for about $150. When I reminded him we knew how to give shots, he helped us get a 1cc vial of epinephrine and a 1cc sub-cutaneous needle. In case of emergency, fill the needle with the entire vial, then inject 0.3cc IM or SC every 15 minutes apart until the allergic reaction passes.

Then he told us about the EpiPen expiration facts. Like most medicines in the USA, the pens have a printed expiration date. That is a legal (CYA) document. The pens also have an expiration detection technical feature. If the liquid in the pen is not discolored, the epinephrine is still just fine. We’ve worked hard to keep our pens refrigerated and the goo is still perfectly clear despite the printed date on the label.

So, now we have options.

If the weather is good, we are often 24 hours from medical care. If the weather is bad, we are often many days away from medical care. EpiPen treatment is short-lived. You need Benadryl pills for short-term follow-up, and a Prednisone pill taper for longer-term follow-up until you get to a doctor. Then get to a doctor.

Apparently most injectable drugs are not commonly available in Mexican pharmacies because of supply-chain refrigeration problems.

Here is a great website with lots of medical lingo about treating anaphylaxis.