Giving a second dose from your auto-injector in an Anaphylactic emergency

Sometimes, one auto-injector is not enough, so doctors may well prescribe a second one. If you or the patient has delivered one auto-injector, and they’re feeling worse, or certainly no better at all, then it may be that you need to administer a second dose between five and 15 minutes after the first. Remember, these are single-dose syringes, so you can’t deliver it twice from the same unit. So use a brand new unit and inject the medicine in the exact same way. Make sure that the paramedics know exactly what’s happened, that two auto-injectors have been used instead of just the one.

This is very important because the paramedics may well give further drugs, so they need to know what’s actually in the patient’s system already. Otherwise, there could be a risk of overdosing or other interactions between various chemicals.

Having a second dose is not needed for everybody, so patients must consult their doctor individually. Remember that they won’t prescribe something if they don’t think that it’s needed. Reasons for a second auto-injector vary from things like body size and age, and also what’s happened in the past. It may well be that in previous attacks two drugs have been required, so two are now routinely prescribed. If you’re caring for a child then again, get advice from their parents or themselves as to whether they need to have one or two doses.

For more details, we have an Anaphylaxis video online course at

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