Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. Despite this, there have been identified gaps in the management of anaphylaxis including infrequent or delayed use of epinephrine for acute allergic reactions, as well as inadequate epinephrine autoinjector (EAI) training, and prescription rates of these devices for patients at risk. This paper reviews new data, and new problems in recently published literature on EAIs. A database search was conducted for publications between January 2015 and February 2017 using keywords related to EAIs including their functionality and features, carriage, prescription rates, barriers, and side effects. Eligibility criteria included patients at risk for anaphylaxis, caregivers, and health care professionals. Experimental studies and observational studies were included. Of 1,737 potentially relevant articles, 19 were used for analysis. These articles addressed specific aspects of an EAI, including (1) information on features and functionality; (2) prescriptions; (3) training on their use; and (4) carriage and use at the time of reaction by patients, schools, camps, emergency departments, and paramedics. Our review highlights that existing gaps in anaphylaxis management remain unaddressed. Patient needs are largely unmet, and very few studies are being designed to clarify and instill best practice, and to determine how to increase adherence to existing anaphylaxis guidelines through integrated knowledge translation strategies.
Keywords: Anaphylaxis; Epinephrine autoinjector use/carriage; Prescription rates; Treatment guidelines.
Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.