Auvi-Q (epinephrine) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat severe allergic reactions. Auvi-Q comes as an injection that’s given into your thigh.
If your doctor prescribes Auvi-Q, you should keep the drug on hand at all times in case you experience a serious allergic reaction.
Note: You or someone else should always call 911 or your local emergency number after using Auvi-Q. This is because symptoms of an allergic reaction may return even after you use Auvi-Q.
The active drug in Auvi-Q is epinephrine, which is also called adrenaline. Epinephrine is also available as a generic drug.
Auvi-Q is available as a single-dose autoinjector, which is used to inject a dose into your thigh. You can give yourself a dose of Auvi-Q, or someone else can do it for you.
Keep reading to learn more about Auvi-Q, including information about dosage, cost, and more.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Auvi-Q.
How does Auvi-Q compare with EpiPen?
But Auvi-Q and EpiPen have a few differences. For example:
- EpiPen and EpiPen Jr each come in one strength, while Auvi-Q is available in three strengths.
- The Auvi-Q autoinjector has a voice feature that talks you through how to give a dose; EpiPen also comes as an autoinjector but does not have a voice feature.
To learn more about how these medications compare and whether one might be a better treatment for you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.
What is the price of Auvi-Q with or without insurance?
Like other mediations, the price of Auvi-Q with or without insurance can vary depending on a few factors. These include the pharmacy you use and your health insurance coverage (if you have it).
In general, prescription drugs tend to cost more without insurance than with it.
To learn more about the cost you may pay for Auvi-Q with or without insurance, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or health insurance provider (if you have one). Also, see the “What does Auvi-Q cost?” section below to learn about ways you may be able to save on your prescription.
Will my dose of Auvi-Q be based on my weight?
Auvi-Q dosage is based on body weight for anyone who weighs less than 30 kilograms (about 66 pounds). For people who weigh more than this, the dosage is not based on weight. Your doctor will determine what your dosage of Auvi-Q should be.
If you have questions about how your dosage for Auvi-Q is determined, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Auvi-Q that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Form and strengths
Auvi-Q comes as a solution inside an autoinjector, which is used to give the drug as an injection into your thigh. It’s available in three strengths, which are listed below in milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL).
- 0.3 mg/0.3 mL
- 0.15 mg/0.15 mL
- 0.1 mg/0.1 mL
Auvi-Q comes in a carton that contains two autoinjectors. Each autoinjector delivers a single dose of the drug. The carton also has a trainer device that contains no medication.
Auvi-Q is a drug that you’ll only use as needed for emergency treatment of a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis.
If you develop symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, you or someone else should immediately give one dose of Auvi-Q by injecting it into your thigh.
Questions about Auvi-Q’s dosing
Below are some common questions about Auvi-Q’s dosing.
- Will I need to use Auvi-Q long term? Yes, you’ll likely need to keep a dose of Auvi-Q on hand at all times if you have a risk of severe allergic reactions. But you’ll only need to give yourself a dose if you have an allergic reaction. It’s not a drug you’ll use every day.
- How long does Auvi-Q take to work? Auvi-Q begins working immediately to treat symptoms of an allergic reaction. But you or someone else should always call 911 or your local emergency number after using Auvi-Q. This is because symptoms of an allergic reaction may return even after you use Auvi-Q.
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use.
The active drug in Auvi-Q is epinephrine, which is also called adrenaline. Epinephrine is available as a generic drug. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs. If you’d like to know about taking generic epinephrine, talk with your doctor.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. An Auvi-Q copay program and other resources may also be available.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Like most drugs, Auvi-Q may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Auvi-Q may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Auvi-Q. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Auvi-Q can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Auvi-Q’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Auvi-Q that have been reported include:
- fast heart rate
- feeling anxious or apprehensive
- heart palpitations
- nausea and vomiting
- skin that’s paler than usual
- trouble breathing
- mild allergic reaction*
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Auvi-Q can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Auvi-Q, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Auvi-Q that have been reported include:
- serious infection at the injection site, including necrotizing fasciitis
- severe allergic reaction*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Auvi-Q. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Auvi-Q is used as needed as an emergency treatment for serious allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis. The drug can be used in adults and in children who weigh 7.5 kilograms (about 16.5 pounds) or more.
If your doctor prescribes Auvi-Q, you’ll keep the drug on hand at all times in case you experience a serious allergic reaction.
What happens during an allergic reaction
An allergic reaction is caused by your immune system overreacting to a substance it views as harmful. These substances are known as allergens.
Examples of common allergens include:
An allergic reaction may be mild or severe, and some are even life threatening. For example, anaphylaxis is a kind of severe allergic reaction that’s life threatening if not immediately treated.
Anaphylaxis develops quickly and can affect several different parts of your body. Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include:
- swelling in your lips, tongue, mouth, throat, skin, hands, or feet
- trouble breathing or swallowing
- chest pain
- fast heart rate
- weak pulse
How Auvi-Q works
When your immune system detects an allergen, it sends signals to alert your body. These signals can cause a range of reactions within your body, such as:
- widening of blood vessels, which causes a drop in blood pressure
- tightening of your airways
- itching or skin rash
- pain or cramps in your belly
Auvi-Q contains the active drug epinephrine, which is also called adrenaline. Your body naturally makes epinephrine. Epinephrine works to activate your body’s “fight or flight response.” This is helpful during an allergic reaction, as it causes:
- your blood vessels to narrow, which keeps your blood pressure from dropping too low
- your airways to relax, making it easier to breathe
- your heart to pump more blood, which keeps your blood pressure from becoming too low
By releasing epinephrine into your body, Auvi-Q helps reverse an allergic reaction.
Your doctor will explain how and when to use Auvi-Q. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Auvi-Q comes as a single-dose autoinjector. The autoinjector is used to inject a dose of Auvi-Q into your thigh. You can give yourself a dose of Auvi-Q, or someone else can do it for you.
Your doctor will teach you how to use Auvi-Q when you’re prescribed the medication. And the Auvi-Q autoinjector device features a voice that gives you step-by-step instructions for injecting a dose.
Auvi-Q should be injected into your outer thigh, about halfway between your knee and hip. The injection can be given through clothing.
Auvi-Q should not be injected into your:
- hands, fingers, feet, or toes
After receiving a dose of Auvi-Q, it’s important that you get emergency medical care. This is because your allergic reaction symptoms could return. After injecting a dose, you or someone else should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Accessible medication containers and labels
If it’s hard for you to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Before you start using Auvi-Q, there are important things to consider and discuss with your doctor. This includes a discussion of medications you take and medical conditions you have. This helps your doctor check for any interactions with Auvi-Q.
Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.
Before taking Auvi-Q, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Auvi-Q.
For information about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings” section below.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
Auvi-Q can interact with several kinds of drugs. These drugs include:
- anti-arrhythmics (drugs used to treat irregular heart rhythms), including amiodarone (Pacerone) and flecainide
- the heart medication digoxin (Lanoxin)
- diuretics (water pills), such as furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
- tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as selegiline (Emsam, Zelapar)
- beta-blockers, such as metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
- certain antihistamines, including diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine
This list does not contain all types of drugs that may interact with Auvi-Q. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with use of Auvi-Q.
Auvi-Q can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Auvi-Q is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Auvi-Q. Factors to consider include those described below.
Heart disease or other heart condition. Auvi-Q contains epinephrine. If you have heart disease or another heart condition (such as an irregular heart beat), using Auvi-Q could cause chest pain or irregular heart rhythm.
Doctors will still prescribe Auvi-Q if you have a heart condition because the drug is used for allergic reactions that can be life threatening. But it’s important to note that you may experience certain symptoms after using Auvi-Q if you have a heart condition.
If you have questions or concerns about using Auvi-Q with your heart condition, talk with your doctor.
Parkinson’s disease. If you have Parkinson’s disease and use Auvi-Q, you may notice your Parkinson’s symptoms worsen for a short time after injecting a dose. This worsening of symptoms should go away after a few hours or days.
Doctors will still prescribe Auvi-Q if you have Parkinson’s disease because the drug is used for allergic reactions that can be life threatening. If you have questions or concerns about using Auvi-Q with Parkinson’s disease, talk with your doctor.
Hyperthyroidism. If you have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), you may have a higher risk of side effects after injecting Auvi-Q. Also, the drug’s side effects may be more bothersome or last longer in people with this condition.
Doctors will still prescribe Auvi-Q if you have an overactive thyroid because the drug is used for allergic reactions that can be life threatening. But it’s important to understand that your risk of side effects from the drug may be higher.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Auvi-Q or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Auvi-Q. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.
Auvi-Q and alcohol
There’s no known interaction between Auvi-Q and alcohol. You can use a dose of Auvi-Q even if you’ve consumed alcohol recently.
Auvi-Q treats symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. You should not drink alcohol after giving yourself a dose of Auvi-Q. Instead, after receiving a dose of Auvi-Q, it’s important that you get emergency medical care. This is because your allergic reaction symptoms could return.
If you’d like to know when it may be safe to drink alcohol after receiving treatment for an allergic reaction, talk with your doctor.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Auvi-Q is safe to use if you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding (also known as chestfeeding).
If you have questions or concerns about using Auvi-Q while pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not use more Auvi-Q than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- very high blood pressure, which can cause bleeding in your brain
- irregular, fast, or slow heartbeat
- swelling in your lungs
- skin that’s very cold and paler than usual
- high acid level in your blood
- kidney failure
What to do in case you take too much Auvi-Q
Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Auvi-Q. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
If you have questions about taking Auvi-Q, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:
- How does Auvi-Q compare with other epinephrine products for treating allergic reaction?
- How long is Auvi-Q good for after I fill my prescription? Do I need a new pen every year even if I don’t use it?
- Should I use another dose of Auvi-Q while waiting for emergency responders if my symptoms don’t go away after the first dose?
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.