Adrenaline (Epinephrine) Injector storage, expiry and disposal

Storage

Adrenaline (epinephrine) injectors (e.g. EpiPen® or Anapen®)should be stored:

People who are at risk of anaphylaxis should have an adrenaline injector with them, either carried themselves (if they are old enough), or by their parent/carer.

If adrenaline autoinjectors are stored with asthma inhalers (reliever or preventer puffer) in a person's first aid kit, they should not be separated. Asthma inhalers should be stored below 30°C but do not need to be refrigerated, and should not be left in cars. 

Expiry

The shelf life of adrenaline injector devices is usually 12 to 18 months:

Expired adrenaline injectors are not as effective when used for treating anaphylaxis. However, if no other adrenaline injector is available, a recently expired adrenaline injector should be used in preference to not using one at all.

EpiPen® and Anapen® injectors contain a clear window near the tip where you can check if the adrenaline is discoloured or contains sediment.  If this is the case, the device should be replaced as the adrenaline may be less effective.  

Adrenaline injectors are single use devices and cannot be reused, even if some adrenaline remains inside the device.

Disposal

After using an adrenaline injector device:

If an expired adrenaline injector is used for training demonstrations (e.g. by safely injecting the device into a citrus fruit such as an orange), the used device can be placed in a household rubbish bin, if a needle shield or other needle cover is in place. 

Further Information 

https://www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/adrenaline-autoinjectors-faqs 

https://www.asthmahandbook.org.au/management/devices/using-inhalers

Content updated September 2021