PLEASE READ: Many people read this post because they have injected themselves with an EpiPen and are looking for information on what to do next. If you use an EpiPen because of an allergic reaction, call 911 immediately and follow their instructions. 
If you have accidentally injected yourself with an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr., please call your doctor or allergist for direction. Each person’s reaction to epinepherine may be different, depending on your personal health history, weight, dosage of medication and injection location. My story is my own experience and you may not have the same experience. I am not a medical professional and you should seek advice from a professional. Thank you.

Personal reflection: How I accidentally injected myself with an EpiPen

I am now a part of the club of people who have had an EpiPen injection.

I am also a part of the “didn’t need it but accidentally used one on themselves” club. I can’t say I ever thought I’d be in either one of these clubs — and yet, now that I accidentally injected myself with an EpiPen, I can say I’m glad it happened. I learned a lot. This post is rather long, but many folks have asked me to share how it happened, how it felt and what I learned from the experience. How it happened: First, a little EpiPen 101. There are two devices available – the EpiPen Jr for children 33-66 lbs (at .15 Epinephrine) and the regular EpiPen for those who weigh more than 66 pounds (at .30 Epinephrine). My child has been prescribed the EpiPen Jr and we always have two of the units on us and one training device. You can see here what they look like.

A real EpiPen Jr (left) and the no-needle training pen (right)

They are identical in shape and size, although one is marked “Training Device” while the other has a slightly more colorful label. After this experience I wish the training device was MORE obviously a different color. Accidentally using an EpiPen is not dangerous, but it may require time at the doctor for monitoring and they are expensive to replace. After three years of managing my child’s food allergies, I’ve become pretty used to training folks in on what foods to avoid, which symptoms to watch for and how to treat a reaction (which may or may not include the Epi, depending on the symptoms).

My child has not had an EpiPen injection, and until this point, neither had I. But I have become vigilant about keeping them with us and keeping the prescription active at home and daycare (they expire after 12 months). Just last week, I had been checking the expiration dates of the pens, at the drive thru of the pharmacy (in the dark). I remember popping each one out of their case to look for the “expires on” date. And this, I think, must be where and how I mixed up one of the EpiPens with the training device. I typically store them with both medicine units in the hard plastic case, and the training device separate and floating in our emergency kit. For three years this is how I’ve done it – and I’ve trained in at least 15, 20, maybe 25 people over the past few years. I’ve always grabbed the correct training device… until now.

The training pen and the two-pack of EpiPen Jrs.

On this day, our daycare was closed, so my 4 year old was spending the day with some friends. We had talked in advance of the visit to discuss food and other care needs. That morning, I provided plenty of safe food options (as did they), went through the list of what to avoid and then talked about watching for symptoms. I shared the Food Allergy Action Plan that describes which symptoms require an antihistimine and which symptoms are anaphylaxis and require the EpiPen. “Don’t worry, this doesn’t have a real needle in it, I’m not going to hurt myself,” I said as I was about to demonstrate the EpiPen. I did not double-check the unit. I did not look for the words “Training Device.” I simply grabbed the item out of its usual spot in the medicine kit and assumed it was the same thing I had always used. And then I heard a strange click when I pulled away the unit from my leg and said something like, “I think I just felt a needle!” The click is a distinct sound that only happens with a real unit, not the training device.

I slowly began to realize that I just gave myself a real injection. I opened the hard plastic case and popped out the training device and sat there a bit stunned. I was embarassed for making this mistake.  And then I tried to focus enough to ramble off the rest of her care instructions before heading out the door in a hurry to get my son to school. While driving, my mind was racing. How did this happen? How did I mix them up? I didn’t feel any different and thought maybe I didn’t get all the medicine because I pulled it away too quickly instead of holding for 10 seconds. And yet, I know from practicing on fruit with expired EpiPens that typically all the medicine is released right away.

How it felt: Many people asked me how it felt when I got the shot, and how my body reacted afterwards. The fact that I barely noticed there was a needle means it definitely did NOT hurt when I got the shot. The injection site was a tiny bit tender afterwards… far less than the flu shot I get every year.  I wonder, though, if I was nervous or stressed about it, if I would have been more tense and therefore experienced more pain. But, because I wasn’t expecting it to be a real shot, I was very calm and relaxed about the whole thing. The good news is that I had experienced epinepherine before so I kind of knew what to expect. Back then I had an allergic reaction to a medication with serious hives all over my body. I had a full dose of the medicine at Urgent Care and they kept me there quite awhile to monitor me. This time, remember I had only had a “junior” dose of the medicine, which is half the adult dose. I didn’t feel anything right away, except feeling nervous that I just gave myself the shot.

After about 20 minutes I felt a bit jittery and found myself rambling on a bit to my son’s teacher when I dropped him off at school. While driving to work, I called two people – first, my “food allergy buddy” through a local support group. I wanted to tell her what happened and get her thoughts. This was helpful, mostly from an emotional standpoint, to be able to process what had happened with someone who might understand. The food allergy buddy program in this group is such a great thing – pairing up families who have similar food allergies for support and help.  The second call I made, at the urging of my buddy, was to the allergist office. We first considered calling a regular nurse’s line or my doctor, however I was worried they would urge me to go in to get monitored (to be safe) and I was worried about missing work.

By calling the allergist office, though, I knew I’d be talking to staff who have deep experience with this drug and be able to give me specific advice. If THEY told me to go in, I would. Instead, the nurse was very confident that because it was only a half dose AND I had no other medical conditions, that I should be fine (but, of course, to watch carefully for any other strange reactions). She said if it was a full dose, they’d ask me to come in. From what I understand, epinepherine is a relatively safe drug and can’t hurt you if you have it by mistake or when you don’t need it. However, it can make your blood pressure rise and typically people are monitored for safety.

By the time I got to work (next door to a hospital, by the way) 40 minutes later I was at the peak of the experience and pulled my boss aside to let him know, just in case, you know, something happened. I remember looking at the clock two hours later and still feeling a bit wired, but by four hours it had totally worn off. To other people it probably seemed like I was amped on coffee. My mind was racing a bit and my body felt jittery, but I could still participate in my work meeting and function okay.

What I learned: In the last three years I’ve been a part of the food allergy community, I’ve seen and heard a lot of fear of the EpiPen. People are terrified to use it because of the needle (I was one of these people). I’ve heard of situations where parents called 911 and let the EMTs decide if the child needs an EpiPen because they were too afraid to do it themselves. This is wasting precious time when your child’s life is at stake.

I never saw the needle. I barely even felt the needle. If you stay calm and cool, your child will stay calm. Please believe me, when I tell you from experience, that getting the epinepherine is NOT a bad thing. It won’t hurt you, but it could save your life or the life of someone you know.

The reason the EpiPen autoinjector exists is so people have the medicine available IMMEDIATELY in life-threatening situations, because you may not have the luxury of time while waiting for an ambulance or the ER doctor. Unfortunately some people do not fill their prescriptions for EpiPens or know enough about food allergies to know that they need to get them. It is important to have an EpiPen on you at all times and USE it if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis.

One thing I’ve learned the hard way is how important it is to get your food allergy advice from a board-certified allergist. And if you have a pediatric-allergist in your area, they can be especially great with kids. Pediatricians, urgent care and ER docs, chiropractors and homeopathic practitioners may know a bit about food allergies, but they are not specialists. I have personally been given bad medical advice and I have heard shocking advice come from these folks to families with food allergies.

On a side note, I was really upset a couple of weeks ago to hear about the 7 year old girl who died at school from a peanut allergy reaction. From what I understand, there was not an EpiPen at school for her. Another child on the playground gave her a peanut and she had a severe reaction and went into cardiac arrest. This is horrific and every food allergy family’s worst nightmare.

Finally, the biggest takeaway for me from this experience is that I can tell my child I’ve had the EpiPen and that it will be okay – and mean it. And to all of you out there who have fear and anxiety about the EpiPen, I hope this brings you some comfort and encouragement, too.  To read more about our food allergy experiences, click here to go to my Food Allergy page. Also, please connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


p.s. I talked with the makers of the EpiPen today to let them know of my mistake. The patient safety folks wanted to hear all the details. If you’ve ever had an EpiPen accidental injection, they would like to hear from you, too. You can find the EpiPen contact info here.

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68 Responses to “How I accidentally injected myself with an EpiPen”

  1. drembasoup says:

    You’re my hero.

    • Missy says:

      Oh Brenda, you are too sweet. I liked your comment on the FB post much better though – how it helped reduce your fear of that “box in the cupboard” – that makes it worth it. 🙂 Hope to see your face soon!

    • Betsy Craig says:

      We get asked the question at least once a week in our AllerTrain Class…what will happen if I inject someone with an epi pen and they don’t need it?

      Great post and description! I am so sending my students to this blog post!

      Keep on keepin on!
      Betsy Craig

      • Missy says:

        Thanks Betsy. Of course the answer can be different for everyone – based on the dosage and their own medical condition. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s easy or not a big deal. That said, the experience gave me a lot more confidence in actually using the device, and I hope that piece of it helps others as well.

    • jacqui says:

      my 4 yr old injected himself 2 nights ago and it went straight through his thumb. We couldn’t get it out, so straight to emergency. I learnt 2 things that night: 1. My son is braver than me 2. There is a God!

  2. I’m sorry you had to go through this, but it’s GREAT to know everything that you learned from it.

    Also, thanks for writing about it…you could have just chalked it up to another “fine” day. ; )

    Here’s to less eventful days ahead!


    • Missy says:

      Thanks Kristin, I’m sorry I had to go through it too – but then again, it really has provided me with a few lessons, and for that I’m grateful. Thanks for reading!

  3. rob says:

    I’ve never had to worry about doing this… but it’s kind of weird. I really don’t like needles from regular shots, drawing blood etc…though I’m really not sure why.

    But remember those little finger-pricker things they use on your finger for quick blood tests? they’ve never really bothered me and from what little I know about epi-pens I guess I’ve always figured they were mostly like that.

    • Missy says:

      Hey Rob, thanks for the comment – yeah, I don’t love needles either… the finger prick thing has some similarities, in both cases you don’t see the needle and it happens very quickly.

  4. Kristine J says:

    I almost did this once, but didn’t. I wonder for if the needle is smaller in the Epipen Jr. vs the regular one and with you being an adult with more “meat” on you… maybe that was a contributing factor in why you felt it didn’t hurt? Either way, I’m glad you’re ok and weren’t harmed by it.

    • Missy says:

      That’s a great question about the needle size, Kristine… Maybe someday I’ll be able to ask that of the EpiPen folks. Glad you caught yourself before you made the same mistake. 🙂

  5. Donica says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It turned out to be another way for you to educate and advocate! Awesome!

    • Missy says:

      Thanks Donica – I hadn’t even thought about blogging about it in the moment – it was a pretty significant event, but a few people started asking me questions and then asking me to blog about it so it became a no-brainer. Believe it or not, I don’t blog about 95% of my life experiences. So sometimes I need to be prompted a bit I guess. Glad it was helpful, thanks for reading. 🙂

  6. abby says:

    thank you so much for sharing your experience!

    • Missy says:

      Thanks Abby – I really appreciate the support and friendship through the food allergy community – moms like us learn a lot from each other and I’m so grateful for that. xo

  7. Jen says:

    I definitely think schools should have some emergency doses of epi. Not everyone who has an allergy even knows it, especially to things like bee stings, which I would imagine to be somewhat common on playgrounds.

    Thanks for sharing your experience even if you felt somewhat embarrassed, which I don’t think you should but I get it.

    • Missy says:

      You are SO RIGHT Jen. All of the information I’ve read about this act says that 25% of the time (in the States where this is allowed) the EpiPens are used on people who didn’t know they had an allergy. Bee stings is a good one, and shellfish allergies can appear out of nowhere in adults after years of eating shellfish normally. Remember that famous scene in Hitch where his face blows up like a balloon? Yeah… he should have had an EpiPen!

  8. Kristin says:

    Thanks for explaining your experience. I’ve often felt nervous about how I would react the first time I need to use my EpiPen.

  9. Mary L says:

    Hi Missy–
    Absolutely no apology needed but I did have a good laugh when I saw my name at the end of your post. I think it’s the closest to my 15 minutes of fame I’ll ever get, oh Marketing Mama 🙂

    I would like to say just as a point of reference, I accidentally injected myself with the adult EpiPen not the Jr. version. I had extreme shakes, overall heightened nervousness, was sweating, felt nauseous, etc. I would NOT have been able to drive anyway safety. My husband did immediately call the pharmacist who was concerned about the rise in my blood pressure, just as you stated. The reason we did not go in was because my BP runs very low so the increase from the injection wasn’t as critical of a concern in my specific case, especially considering I had someone there with me who could drive or call 911 if needed. The injection itself hurt just a titch, much like a bee sting feels to me and I had a slightly round bump on my skin.

    The effects were shorter lived for me and within 20 minutes I was starting to feel a bit more normal. (I can see why a person might need a second injection in the event of a real emergency at that point.) After an hour, I felt totally fine. It was definitely a learning experience for me as well.

    • Missy says:

      Mary – glad you saw my special note to you!!! Thanks so much for sharing your experience of having an adult dose by mistake. It’s good to hear what would happen with the usual dose. Interesting your dose had a shorter reaction time – I read somewhere that if you lay down and rest it is over faster – which I obviously didn’t do. Miss you and hope to see you soon. Thanks again! xo

  10. Emma says:

    Thanks for writing about this! It is reassuring, for sure.

  11. Erin says:

    Wow! What a story! I am a mom with a severe peanut allergy. I have only had to give myself the epipen once as a teenager, and I am certainly glad I did it. But the fear of it keeps me from using it unless absolutely necessary. I have heard over and over again how many of us are afraid of using it.
    One reason, I think, is the high probability of a ride to the hospital afterward. (With a small reaction, several doses of benadryl may be enough for me.) I have had other moms say to me “just take your epipen” when giving their child a peanut product in front of me. They, along with being rude, don’t realize I won’t be alert enough to take care of my own children, let alone myself.
    I am surprised you were able to drive. But I suppose if it was only a half dose, that would make sense. One dose of epinephrine and I cannot function at all. My blood pressure rises so much I can feel my heart beating in my feet. If I have my two little ones with me (and I have in the past) when having a reaction, it is a tricky decision about what to do.
    Best of luck with everything you are doing to inform others of allergies, etc. In my experience, the battle will never end.


    • Missy says:

      Hi Erin – thanks for sharing your experiences. I think you are totally spot on about the fear of what giving the Epi means – having to spend the rest of the day/night in the ER. It really is a commitment once you go down that path, and one that most of us would rather avoid.

      Very sorry (and shocked and disgusted) to hear your experiences of other moms making light of your peanut allergy. I know what it’s like to be out of commission with little kids to take care of (such as when my back went out recently) and it’s a very scary and humbing experience. Take good care and let’s stay in touch.

  12. Jeanine says:

    A couple of years ago my young nephew decided he wanted to know how his EpiPen felt/worked… so he injected his dog. Luckily, as was your case, child dose, but very large dog.

    The major residual effect was that Ollie (dog) avoided Sam (nephew) for a few days after the incident.

  13. Lindsey says:

    Wow Erin, what a horrible thing for a mom to tell you. “just take your epipen”
    Thank you so much for sharing your story Missy. I’ve been very wary of our four epipens that I carry everywhere ALL THE TIME for my to FA kiddos. Now I’m not so afraid of the actual using of them, but I still hope I never have to.

    • Missy says:

      Thanks Lindsey – glad to hear my post helped reduce your anxiety a bit. 🙂 I was also sad to hear of Erin’s experience. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

  14. Ann says:

    I also accidentally gave myself the epipen. I was practicing with my husband with the training device and accidentally mixed up the trainer with the real thing. I had no real reaction just some jitters but I think it was because I barely stuck it in my leg. I am gratefull for the experience. I always wondered if it would hurt my son if I ever had to use it. I am happy to say that I barely noticed it. I was stunned that I did it and stared at the epipen trying to figure out what just happened.
    I feel reassured by the experience that I will not be causing my son any pain,Although I have a feeling that if he really needs it he isn’t going to care about the pain.

    • Missy says:

      Ann, sounds like we had very similar experiences – glad to hear I’m not the only one who has made this mistake. Very much appreciate you sharing. 🙂

  15. Cris says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I’ve carried an epi-pen with me for 4 years now and have never had to use it myself (have had two injections, one in the doc office and one at the hospital). I’ve always been afraid that I would hesitate to long if confronted with injecting myself.

    • Missy says:

      Thanks Cris – sounds like you have the typical fear we all do about using the EpiPen. It’s such a strange thing when you are in the moment, trying to evaluate how bad it is and if it’s getting worse or not. I always pull out our food allergy action plan and use that to guide my decision, hope you have one, too.

  16. Jim says:

    Just a quick story and cautionary advice. I am retired from EMS, but I once had a paramedic partner during the heat of the moment inject himself (into his thumb) rather than the patient. VERY PAINFUL…and as a result there was concern about permanent damage because of the high concentration of epi and a thumb not being vascular enough to disperse it. Bottom line, there is no emergency situation that can’t wait the extra few seconds it takes to make doubly sure of what you are doing. When needed, epi is a wonderful drug to have on hand by those properly trained in its use.

    • Missy says:

      Hey Jim – thanks for the note. The EpiPen people recently redesigned the autoinjector device to make it MUCH more clear which end had the needle because of situations like these. I’m glad for that. I can imagine that injecting it into a thumb would be cause for serious concern (as opposed to a lare muscle like the thigh). Now I’d like it if they would make the trainer a bit more different than the regular devices. Thanks again for your comment – you are totally right that we all ned to take time to be sure what we are doing. I’m pretty sure I won’t be making the same mistake again.

  17. Kate R. says:

    I have to admit that, having injected myself for fertility treatments, I am not afraid of using the EpiPen on my PA son (i.e. the pain of the needle, the effect of the medicine). I am more afraid of not knowing I would need to use it.

    With the recent death in VA, I have become aware of the fact that there are people that would be afraid to use it. I will definitely be sharing your experience with my friends.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  18. Gospelflier says:

    As a Medical Assistant we are taught to always check 3 times before administering medications. This is something you should be doing. Read the label upon removing meds (or anything similar to meds) from its storage place, once before actually drawing up the meds or removing from bottle and once before administering it. Had you looked at the label of the Epi-pen, instead of just “assuming” it was the trainer, you would have saved yourself aggrivation and expense. The trainer is different enough that it would have prevented this accident.

    • Missy says:

      I appreciate your comment and suggestions. Unfortunately I’ve never had formal medical training like you, so this was not something that I learned. You are absolutely correct, I should have double checked the label. Mix ups like this are preventable and I made a big mistake. I disagree that the trainer is different enough, though. It’s surprising how many people have shared their stories with me (here, emails, FB & Twitter) and it’s a mistake made by a lot of pretty smart people. I called the pharm company that makes the EpiPen today and let them know of my experience – their patient safety group was very interested. I suggested they use a dramatically different color on the device (all purple? all orange?) to make it stand out. I don’t think this is asking too much to help reduce further medical errors. Remember that EpiPens are not meant for medical professionals, they are meant for average people who have little to no training in how to actually use them.

  19. Hi Missy,
    thanks for sharing this – I am in exact the same position, always carrying the pen with me for my little one as he is allergic to peanuts. I think I wouldn’t have been able to stay as calm as you did!

    • Missy says:

      Hey Thanks Julia – you never know how you’ll react to a situation until you’re right smack in the middle of it! Here’s hoping you never need to use the Epi or accidentally use it either! 🙂

  20. Mandi says:

    This is a great share. The first thing I thought as I read your story waa “thank goodness she didn’t use the trainer when she needed the real thing!”. This would be more concerning and I hope people will learn to double, or triple check before administering the epipen to themselves or their children or anyone else. Make sure it is the REAL injector.

    • Missy says:

      Thanks Mandi – and REALLY good point about the trainer v. the epi for a real emergency situation! I definitely will be checking and rechecking in the future.

  21. Amy Recob says:

    Whoa, Missy! Thanks for sharing this. It’s interesting to me to hear you didn’t feel jacked up on the epinephrine until 20-40 minutes later. Glad to hear it was not painful or scary. I TOTALLY think this will help your daughter (not to mention other kids and parents) feel at ease using their EpiPens!

    • Missy says:

      Thanks Amy! Hope all is well with you! Maybe the epi did kick in sooner but I just didn’t realize it because I thought it was nerves? Not sure…

  22. Amber says:

    I’m glad it didn’t hurt, and that you were totally OK. I imagine it must have been a bit of a shock when it happened, though!

    Luckily for me, I have never received a shot of epinephrine, either on purpose or by accident. But now I won’t be scared if I need to, for some reason.

    • Missy says:

      Ha, thanks Amber. I was definitely in shock when it happened – one of those “did that really just happen?” moments for sure.

  23. Meri says:

    I have a severe bee allergy and was stung in September. I happen to also be a medic and was at my fire department when it happened. We had just returned from a call. I didn’t have my Epi Pen on me (I know…I know…) but we do have them in the ambulance. The dispatcher grabbed one off of the ambulance and injected me with it and then toned out the call. I was semi conscious by the time a crew arrived (I had managed to put oxygen on myself before I passed out) and they took me to the hospital. I don’t remember much after he gave me the Epi but I remember distinctly that the injection didn’t hurt. I did learn my lesson and now carry my Epi Pen wherever I go. Glad you are OK!!!

    • Missy says:

      Wow Meri, that’s a dramatic story – so glad you were okay! Much of my discussions of EpiPens are centered on food allergy patients so it’s so interesting to learn more about bee sting reactions. So glad YOU are ok!

  24. […] for me but for those who haven’t had to use it yet, here is a great read from Missy – Marketing Mama. Missy has kind of been a food allergy mentor for me. I started following her on Twitter a while […]

  25. Jennifer says:

    Really interesting piece. I’ve often wondered what it would feel like and it’s easy to see how an accident like this could occur. The manufacturer should change the shape of the injector slightly and make other modifications than just the label color. Thanks for sharing this!


  26. […] Enjoy the story here: How I accidentally injected myself with an EpiPen […]

  27. JJ says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I agree with you that the trainer does need a contrasting color to help distinguish it from the real thing. I only had to give the Epipen once – to a preschooler who then screamed like bloody murder and was left with a very big bruise on the thigh! I was following the instructions (on the old version) which then stated “JAB black tip firmly into outer thigh”! I guess I had really “jabbed” with too much enthusiasm! Since then someone told me you can just sort of push it in. I’ve noticed the newer version has changed to “push orange tip”. It sounds like you did need to use much force since you are saying it did not hurt, is that true? (I also do wonder if the yellow Sr. has a longer needle then the green Jr. version as well though – that would make sense since it is for bigger thighs.) I am glad to hear that if I ever have to give another injection it MIGHT NOT have to hurt as much as my first attempt must have. Thanks again for sharing.

  28. JJ says:

    I meant to say “It sounds like you did NOT need to use much force” to get the injector to work.

  29. In my efforts to clear out any out of date medication I have just mishandled my husband’s epepen and I accidentally injected myself on the tip of my thumb.This was particularly painfull as I am due to attend hospital on 3/1/13 in relation to some kind of abnormality on the side of my thumb which I have ignored for years.
    My thumb was bleeding quite heavy for a while and is extremely sore.

    Just to make things worse I had drank a couple of hot whiskeys prior to the accident as off work on holiday for another week and I am not a regular drinker so my experience is one of feeling quite lethargic and light headed.

    As I am 64 and hate being sick I refused to attend hospital and as yet I am feeling fine.

    I cannot believe that I was so stupid as not to read the directions but I will try and be more carefull in the future. I have to say that when I go into a ‘carefull’ mode I make the biggest mistakes.

    I feel very calm and my husband is panicking and if I had another epepen I would like to give him a jag just to keep him relaxed !!

  30. […] 1. How I accidentally injected myself with an EpiPen […]

  31. DJ says:

    Thanks for sharing. If it makes you feel any better, I did the same thing. Usually I have trainees practice on each other. Fortunately I hadn’t reached that stage of the training yet, and it was just me who got the injection. It is humbling to experience first-hand the easy ways of errors.

    On a different note, I’m a physician who is doing a research study on the usability of Epipens and the effectiveness of training directed towards school staff.

    I would love it if you could contact me at my email address above and we could talk offline. Thanks again.

  32. jessica says:

    Thank you for posting your story, It was quite helpful when I looked online, “what happens when you inject yourself with an epipen by accident.”
    Last night, I did the same thing, and my husband has been laughing at me since then.
    so here is a brief background: My now 12 year old son had an allergic reaction when he was about 2 years old, after many tests they confirmed he had a peanut allergy, so we always had a pen around the house for an emergency.
    We took my son to get retested for his allergies after he had eaten a brownie with nuts in it and was ok, we found out he was allergic to only one kind of nut.
    Well last night I was cleaning one of the drawers out and found and old epipen, which had expired years ago. So my curiostiy took the pen out of the container removed the cap and next thing i knew, I heard the click. I dropped the pen and looked at my thumb and said to my husband, I just stuck myself with the needle! i look over to the epipen sitting there on the bathroom floor with the needle full drawn and a few drops of liquid under. Yes, it happened and i could not believe it. My thumb is sore and swollen, but thanks for reassuring me that I will be fine.

  33. J.R says:

    My son had an epipen in his room. I keep them everywhere just in case. As he is 13, it was in a basket with his inhaler. He decided to check it out and injected himself in the thigh. He said he thought it was the trainer. To answer the question about the size of the needle, it is very thin. He was so upset. I had to look online to see if there was imminent danger. It is good to know that he will be fine. Glad that experience is over with! Kids have to try everything once!

  34. A.R says:

    I just got my epipen today and I am 13 years old. I’m allergic to bee stings I know it’s not the same as a food allergy but I’m affraid that if I get stung I want be able to inject myself or I will be nervous or scard to inject myself with my epipen

  35. Sam says:

    6 hours ago I injected my thumb. My wife was cleaning and had confused the locations of the trainer and a real (adult version) device, and I failed to notice. Anyway, I pushed my thumb against the business end, expecting the usual trainer click, and I think the needle hit the bone. I got pale and slightly lightheaded, and my pulse was extra strong for about 45 minutes, so I called my insurance company’s advice nurse. She told me to call poison control, which said that as long as there is blood flow in my thumb (capillary refill under the finger nail), I will be fine. My thumb is still cold and numb, and quite swollen and bruised. If it gets worse, I’ll reply again, so if I don’t reply again you can assume it worked out okay.

  36. Sam says:

    10 hours later. The thumb is much better. Between 3 and 10 hours afterward the feeling and color slowly returned. Here are my theories. Most of the epinephrine solution is injected immediately; there is the potential for physical bone damage from the spring action of the needle if injected in shallow tissue; bone damage can cause swelling that, combined with the vasoconstrictor effects of epinephrine, can significantly slow the removal of epinephrine from affected extremities; using the affected extremity moderately and exposing it periodically to warm water help to speed the return of blood flow.

    • Missy says:

      So sorry to hear about your accident – sounds awful! Good thing you went to the ER.

      I’ve had to give my child an Epi Pen for a life threatening food allergy reaction since this post – so I can say without hesitation that every time an Epi is given is a big deal. And although I tried to maintain a sense of humor about my accidental injection, I obviously took it very seriously and also sought medical attention.

  37. Diane says:

    Trying to inject my son in a panic, I had the epipen backward and the full dose went in my thumb. It hurt so much, then my thumb immediately turned white and painful. I called my ins nurse hotline and they had me call poison control. Needless to day I’m at ER. They gave me 4 injections of antidote. And they still don’t know if I have permanent tissue loss. Ephine stops blood flow and had I not gone to ER asap I could of loss my thumb tip. This is serious and I feel your personal story makes very light of the situation,

  38. Laurajean Borao says:

    I used the epi pen once, It saved my life. Thank you for your post 🙂

  39. Ceri Newland says:

    Hi there, I googled this today as I too have accidentally discharged the epi pen. This was the adult dose as my son is 27. I was explaining to my niece and nephew about the allergy and got the ‘training pen’ out to show them what he would have to do in case of anaphylactic shock. I presumed my son would have both is epi pens with him.
    Unfortunately it was not the training pen and when doing the demonstration I felt what I can describe as a punch to the thigh. I then realised that this must be the real medication. On inspection I found this was true. I have a small puncture and some bruising to my thigh. I rang the out of hours doctor for advise. He asked me questions about my general health and any effects I was feeling. Having satisfied him that I was fine at the present time, he advised me that all would be fine and there was no need for me to go on for any treatment but to call back immediately if there was any change.

  40. terry says:

    My adult son accidentally discharged the epipen into his leg about 30 mins ago. I was going to cart him off to the emergency but since he is 25 and didn’t want to go and was feeling fine I backed off. I was very relieved to find this site as it answered my immediate concerns as to what could happen in such a case. My son seems fine and based on what I see hear I am not going to panic! But I will pay attention for any changes that may occur.

    Thank you all for sharing. Terry

  41. Liisa says:

    Thank you for writing this post. I am terrified of ever having to give my son the epi-pen because he is anxious about his allergy and I imagined that if he ever experienced the (what I thought was) painful injection, he would never eat again.

    I so appreciate you sharing this and I am going to share on FB, and then later this week on my own blog.

  42. Greg S says:

    I recently was home alone and stabbed my self on accident with an EPY pen jr. Called my mom right away. She called 911. After I hung up the phone and ran outside. Immediately after stepping of my lawn I passed out. EPPY PENS SUCK



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