If you are heading to the snow with an EpiPen it is vital you know the best ways to keep yourself and your medication safe. Whether you are just visiting locations with cold weather or you are skiing or snowboarding it is important to keep your EpiPen and Action Plan with you at all times and at the correct temperatures.
What is the correct temperature for an EpiPen?
- Your EpiPen should be kept in the protective tube in a dry place at between 15–25°C. The tube will protect the contents from the light and the temperature will stop the contents from being destroyed.
How do I check if my EpiPen is OK for use?
- Check the expiry date on your EpiPen - this is printed within the "See other side for instructions" section on the EpiPen canister itself. Mark this expiry date on your calendar or diary or use the EpiClub® Reminder Program. Your EpiPen should be replaced prior to this date, which may require a doctors visit and the EpiPen to be ordered by your closest pharmacy.
- Check if the solution within the EpiPen is discoloured. The solution should be clear, colourless and sediment-free. Do not use your pen if the contents are cloudy, discoloured or appear to contain sediment. If this is the case, obtain a new EpiPen immediately.
Note: In Australia, EpiPen is available by prescription or can be purchased directly from your pharmacist. Check with your private health insurance fund if you are able to claim some, or all, of the cost of a non-PBS reimbursed EpiPen as part of Extras. A private prescription may be required for this.
What is the best way to store an EpiPen while skiing or snowboarding?
The A&AA advises
- that your EpiPen and Action Plan should be kept in a bumbag under your snow jacket when skiing
- you should NOT place your EpiPen directly on the snow
- low temperatures may interfere with the mechanics of the device
Your body temperature, inside your ski jacket, should be enough to keep the EpiPen at an adequate temperature.
What about in extreme low temperatures?
- Insulated bags close to your body may provide a more stable temperature range for your medication in extremely cold temperatures. Remember to keep your pen close to your body and away from direct contact with snow.
Keep your EpiPen off the snow
People have reported dropping their EpiPen in snow while skiing. The devices were handed it but when opened they discovered the pen had cracked. This is the identical experience to another skier who had their EpiPen returned still within its insulated pouch. Should this occur don't forget you can visit a doctor for another prescription and dispose of your existing EpiPen via our pharmacies.
Insulated medication bags
Medication bags come in all shapes, sizes and insulation levels. Examples of these can be found at
- Consider wearing a Medical Band e.g. Alert Wristbands to advise others of your allergies.
- Keep the EpiPen with or close to the person for whom it is intended.
- Do not leave the EpiPen in your car. Extreme temperatures may cause the auto-injector unit to malfunction.
- Protect the EpiPen from light.
- Keep the EpiPen in the protective carry tube until required.
- Carry a copy of your Action Plan.
- Carry translations of your allergies if traveling overseas.