The distributor of the epinephrine injector known as EpiPen recently issued a warning that taking the cap off the device incorrectly could render it unable to deliver the epinephrine. EpiPens are single use devices that inject epinephrine to treat a severe allergic reaction. Carrying this device can be life-saving, particularly for those with severe food allergies.

According toCBC News Canada,Pfizer Canada (the Canadian distributor of both the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr) says that the blue safety cap on the autoinjector must be removed by pulling straight up, while the orange tip of the device is pointed downward. “It has recently come to our attention that removal of the blue safety cap the wrong way by pulling it sideways or bending and twisting it off may prevent the device from working properly and potentially result in failure to deliver the drug,” the company said.

Pulling off the cap incorrectly while attempting to treat a severe allergic reaction could result in life-threatening anaphylactic shock. In its recent release, Pfizer Canada also reminded those with food allergies to continue carrying an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr at all times, and to keep the safety cap in place until the medication is needed. Check the autoinjector regularly to make sure it has not been damaged or unintentionally activated.

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