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Emerade failure to activate warning

Advise patients to carry two pens

October 7th 2019

Tagged: MHRA alert

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Patients who carry Emerade auto-injector pens for the emergency treatment of severe acute allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to foods, medicines or insect stings should be reminded of existing advice to carry two, in-date pens at all times.

The MHRA has issued a drug alert following reports from manufacturer Bausch & Lomb UK Limited, that Emerade pens have failed to activate. In this situation, the needle of the pen is not released from the autoinjector when used, and a dose of adrenaline cannot be delivered.

When an Emerade pen is used, it should be pressed very firmly against the thigh. If this does not result in activation, the patient should immediately use their second pen. More detailed information for patients is available. This includes images showing users what an activated pen looks like, compared to a non-activated pen.

If the patient is not improving, suggesting that a further dose of adrenaline is needed, additional attempts should be made to administer a pen that has failed to activate, while awaiting the arrival of the emergency services.

The MHRA is not recalling all Emerade devices: activation failures have not been traced to particular batches and there are insufficient surplus devices on the market to replace all Emerade pens in use. The new alert is not related to the risk of needle blockage reported previously.

Patients experiencing any problem with Emerade failing to activate should report the incident via the MHRA’s Yellow Card system and keep the pen for further examination.

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