How does an EpiPen work?


How does an EpiPen work?

In: Biology

Epipens contain Epinephrine (hence the name) a medicine that causes the muscles in your airways (neck and throat) to relax, which makes breathing easier. (Since most allergic reactions are dangerous because they cause your airways to tighten up/close up, suffocating you.

The pen itself is basically a syringe on mousetrap. Once you push the activator hard enough, a spring shoots the needle into you and the plunger on the syringe is pushed, injecting you with epinephrine.

“Epi” = epinephrine = adrenaline. Other commenters have already elaborated a bit on what it does (relax the airways), so I’ll just clarify the name because many people don’t realize they’re the same thing.

Latin: *ad-* for “on”; *renis* for “kidney”

Greek: *epi-* “on”; *nephro* for “kidney”

In the body, adrenaline is made by the adrenal glands, which are indeed located above the kidneys.

EpiPens are auto-injectors that quickly push a spring loaded needle into the mid outer thighs. They have a drug called epinephrine (commonly known as adrenaline), which is capable of reversing or delaying a severe allergic reaction.