Contemporary issues in anaphylaxis and the evolution of epinephrine autoinjectors: What will the future bring?

Paul A. Greenberger, Dana V. Wallace, Phillip L. Lieberman*, Sean M. Gregory

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background Food allergy and anaphylaxis appear to be increasing in the United States, especially in young children, and preparedness is paramount to successful emergency management in the community. Although the treatment of choice for anaphylaxis is epinephrine delivered by autoinjection, some devices are challenged by less user-friendly designs or pose the risk of injury, especially in young patients. Human factors engineering has played a larger role in the development of more recent epinephrine autoinjector technologies and will continue to play a role in the evolution and future design of epinephrine autoinjectors. Objective To discuss contemporary issues related to the identification and management of anaphylaxis, current and future epinephrine autoinjector design, and unmet needs for the treatment of special populations, namely, young children weighing less than 15 kg. Methods The literature was reviewed and select articles retrieved to support expert clinical opinions on the need for improved recognition of anaphylaxis, epinephrine autoinjector design, and unmet needs in special populations. Results Anaphylaxis may be underrecognized and poorly defined in infant- and toddler-aged children, current devices may not be adequate to safely treat these patients (ie, inappropriate needle length), and health care professionals may not be aware of these issues. Conclusion As epinephrine autoinjector technology continues to evolve, device characteristics that promote safe, user-friendly experiences and give clinicians and their patients confidence to successfully treat anaphylaxis during an emergency, without injury, will be favored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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