MHRA issues new guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors

MHRA issues new guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors

  • 19 June 2023
  • News

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched new guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors, including what steps to take in an emergency and updated advice on body positioning.

The guidance has been issued to mark the story of World Allergy Week, an annual initiative led by the World Allergy Organization, aiming to raise awareness of allergies, their management and prevention. 

Adrenaline is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis, a serious and often sudden allergic reaction, requiring emergency treatment. It is available on prescription in pre-loaded injection devices known as an adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs). Anyone who is at risk of anaphylaxis should always carry two in-date AAIs with them at all times.

You can read the full guidance here (GOV.UK).

Julian Beach, Deputy Director of Population Health at the MHRA said:

“For people experiencing anaphylaxis, either first hand or in the company of a loved one, it can be a scary and uncertain time.

“AAIs are an important and potentially life-saving healthcare product, giving people experiencing anaphylaxis precious time before the emergency services arrive.

“Knowing how to use AAIs and what to do in an emergency is vital and so I encourage everyone to review the latest guidance and download these materials so they can be prepared.”

Simon Williams, Chief Executive of Anaphylaxis UK said:

“People living with allergies often fear the worst and many of the people we work with have extreme anxiety doing things like eating out and traveling, that others may take for granted.

“We hope that by collaborating with the MHRA and allergy awareness advocates, we can raise awareness for people with and without allergies, so everyone knows what to do during anaphylaxis.

“By educating about allergies, anaphylaxis and what to do in an emergency, we hope to help people feel more confident going about their daily lives.”

Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said:

“A severe allergic reaction can be life-threatening. One in five people in the UK suffer with at least one allergy, so it’s vital people are equipped with the knowledge to keep themselves safe.

“Adrenaline auto-injectors – also known as AAIs or by their brand names such as EpiPen – are highly effective and convenient for the immediate treatment of anaphylaxis. If you have been prescribed one, please carry it with you at all times and make sure you are up to date on the latest safety guidance – it could save your life.”