Tag: Auvi-Q

Update to my “Generic Epi-Pen Post”

A few weeks ago I posted a full article that compared the generic “Adrenaclick Auto Injector” to the Mylan Epi-Pen.  I mentioned that our insurance company automatically filled this generic auto injector in lieu of the mainstream Epi-Pen as of January 1st, 2017 when all of the insurance companies changed their RX coverage plans for the new year.  I discussed in quite length the pros and cons, and noted that I did not have any confidence in this product because I have not had to use it.

As a follow up here is what I have found:

  • It took 6 weeks for me to receive the several “Trainer” pens I ordered online from the website I discussed.  To my dismay, the trainer pen when pushed into the thigh, does not make a “click” sound and the spring in the device does not budge at all.  It didn’t make me feel like this was the reality of how this pen would actually work if I was using this in an emergency situation.
  • I realized the actual auto injectors when dispensed, will not retract the needle once you remove the injector from the thigh after the medicine is administered.  I think this is dangerous and how does one dispose of this?
  • Although I’m not pleased with either of the two points I mentioned above, this pen was still a $0 co-pay and although not easy to use, I’m sure it would work well if need be.

Again, these thoughts are 100% my opinion.  After all of my research and actually trying to practice using this generic Adrenaclick trainer product, we have decided not to let our boys carry these pens.  Additionally, we have not taken them to our son’s school either.  I just don’t feel confident with this product.    This is because it’s so vastly different from Mylan’s Epi-Pen and Auvi-Q, and my concern is that a caregiver of school employee may not know how to properly use this product in an emergency situation, when time is of the essence.

Last week was my boy’s annual food allergy appointment at the University of Michigan where they have been receiving amazing food allergy treatment for the last 6 years!  Our doctor wrote new scripts for each boy and stated on the script “Generic for Mylan 0.3mg Epi-Pen.”  I then filled these scripts at the pharmacy and the cost was only $35.00 for 2 two packs!  The generic Mylan Epi-Pen is actually the same auto injector but significantly less in price.  In addition, I have used Auvi-Q’s Patient Affordability Program to order the new injectors for each of my boys!  This is paid for 100% by Auvi-Q and is a home delivery prescription service.  I can’t say enough wonderful things about this program!  We have always be a HUGE fan of Auvi-Q and we’re thrilled they are back on the market!  As a mother of 2 boys, the Auvi-Q’s are small enough to fit in their pant or jacket pockets.

At the end of the day, every family needs to do what is best for them specifically.  Personally, I don’t feel comfortable carrying a life-saving device that I’m not 120% confident with which is to be used as the first line of defense during an allergic reaction.  I encourage everyone to do their own research and make an educated decision.  The bottom line is that it’s wonderful that we, as food allergy families, now have more choices when it comes to epinephrine.

Have a great weekend!

~Erika

 

Vegan Hot Cocoa – Perfect for this Time of Year

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It’s snowy and cold here in Northern Michigan.  Today is the first day of our downhill ski season  and I thought it would be timely to post my delicious hot cocoa recipe.  Many children that ski often look forward to hot cocoa breaks in the lodge to warm up from being out in the elements.  Obviously, our boys cannot drink the hot cocoa from the vending machine in the cafeteria since it contains “milk” as one of the main ingredients. 

Over the years I have been making my own dairy free version of powdered hot cocoa mix.  I make several individual servings for my boys to use throughout the ski season. They simply put the zip lock baggie in one of their ski jacket pockets, add hot water from the cafeteria “hot water” machine, stir, and they are the happiest kids in the lodge.  It’s creamy, warm and delicious!

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Here’s my recipe which has taken a few years to really perfect:

Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hersey’s)

1/3 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. powdered soy milk (I use Better Than Milk Vanilla Soy Powder purchased in bulk from amazon.com- it’s the creamiest!)

Method:

Mix all of the ingredients together with a wire whisk in a bowl.  I will often double or even triple the recipe making a huge batch that I store in an air tight container for the winter.  I will then scoop about 3 Tablespoons of the mix into several small ziplock bags for my boys to take skiing each day.  It stores well and is easy for them to grab out of the pantry in individual servings.

You can also add dehydrated or mini marshmallows to the individual baggies.  I usually add these since my boys love marshmallows with their hot cocoa like most children.

Just add hot water to the mix, stir and enjoy!  This powdered hot cocoa is not only Dairy Free but it’s creamy and delicious as well!  Not to mention, easy to take on the go whether it’s skiing, sledding or ice skating!

 

Epi-Pen Scripts All Finally Refilled After Recall Debacle

As I have posted a few times within the last week since the Auvi-Q recall, it has been a week of STRESS trying to fulfill refills to replace the total of 9 Auvi-Q two packs for my boys that were recalled.  After countless hours on the phone with doctors, pharmacies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and multiple visits to many different pharmacies, I’m happy to report I just picked up the last script of Epi-Pen Juniors at Meijer pharmacy for my boys. 

That said, I have to mention a HUGE shout out to the AMAZING customer service I received from the pharmacy staff at the Petoskey Meijer! They were compassionate, understanding and determined to get our insurance company to fill the multiple refills this week! I sincerely thank you all!  Oh and thank you to the wonderful customer service at Mylan Pharmaceuticals who manufacturers the Epi-Pen Junior.

We are now safely armed at school, home and on my person  with the appropriate number of Epi-Pens my husband and I feel is necessary to be safe at all times with our food allergic boys. This includes 4 auto injectors at home, 4 on my person at all times, 2 per son’s school classroom, 2 per child in the school office medical cabinet and 2 posted in the school cafeteria….Phew!  Now I’m completely relieved!

Just thought I would share this update as many have been following and praying for us during this difficult journey over the last 7 days. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. It is a good feeling to know we now have safe medicine in case we face an accidental food exposure.  Time to relax a bit!

~Erika

Auvi-Q Return & Reimbursement Process

ALL AUVI-Q’S NOW RECALLED THAT ARE ON MARKET AND SET TO EXPIRE OCT 2015- DEC 2016

Last week I posted the voluntary recall of Auvi-Q’s and now the recall has expanded to include ALL auto injectors on the market. 0.15mg and 0.3mg.  The lot numbers included in the updated recall have expanded quite a lot!  This means the Auvi-Q’s I left at my children’s school that were deemed to be safe under the original recall last week now need to be removed!  Now I’m definitely not sure how I’m going to quickly replace the 6 sets of 2 packs at my children’s school.  I’m open to ideas from any followers if you have any recommendations on how to quickly refill the Epi-Pen Junior 2 packs???

I’m headed out the door to stop at all of the pharmacies and see how they can help me.  I still have not received any type of response from my emails or voice messages to Sanofi from last week.  Still never received a phone call from Walgreens where I filled 12+ Auvi-Q scripts last year about the recall!  Can you believe this?

This is straight from the Auvi-Q website:

“Sanofi US is voluntarily recalling all Auvi‑Q® (epinephrine injection, USP). The recall involves all Auvi‑Q currently on the market and includes both the 0.15 mg and 0.3 mg strengths for hospitals, retailers and consumers. This includes lot numbers 2081278 through 3037230, which expire October 2015 through December 2016. The products have been found to potentially have inaccurate dosage delivery, which may include failure to deliver drug.”

https://www.auvi-q.com/

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Auvi- Q Epinephrine Auto-Injector Recall

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This recall couldn’t have come at a worse time with Halloween less than 2 days away!  We switched over to the Auvi-Q Epinephrine 0.15 mg auto injectors over two years ago for my boys because of their ease of use.  They are also smaller and easier for my sons to fit in their coat or jacket pockets.  Plus, they even talk to you so it makes it easier for teachers and caregivers to know how to properly use the device in an emergency situation. We love our Auvi-Q’s!

Thankfully, one of my friends who also has children with food allergies, sent me a text this morning notifying me of the massive recall.  Sanofi states on their website below that the recall includes lot number 2299596 through 3037230, which expire March 2016 through December 2016. 

I just left my boy’s school and sure enough I had to pull a total of 2 two packs that had been expired.  In addition to that I had 3 more recalled 2 packs in our kitchen and my purse where I always carry 4 auto-injectors.  Thankfully, I had enough Auvi-Q’s that were not recalled to replace at school.  As I was walking out of my children’s school building holding the ziplock bag that contained the 6 two packs that I pulled from the school I ran into one of my best friends.  She asked what was going on and I quickly explained what had happened, then started to burst into tears!  My anxiety level is about at an all time high today trying to figure out how to replace all of these injectors in a hurry so I have some on hand when I pick my boys up from school.  Ugh…the stresses people with food allergies face daily.

Since I do not have any on my person right now and I’m anxiously awaiting my son’s pediatrician to call in new scripts for the Epi-Pen Junior 2 packs.  This is my recommendation to everyone who may be in the same boat as myelf right now.  In the interim, until Sanofi figures out how they are going to replace/reimburse us for the thousands of dollars of recalled Auvi-Q’s, we can have our child’s doctor call in new scripts for the Epi-Pen Junior packs.

Also this is what the Auvi-Q site states, “Due to high volume of calls being received on the Auvi‑Q customer service phone line, callers may periodically receive a message that the line is down. We appreciate your patience and please call back.”  I recommend not calling them like I did and being placed on hold for a decade.

Please click on the link below for more detailed information from Sanofi…hopefully my day will get better once I’m armed with new Epi-pens.

https://www.auvi-q.com/

Epi-Pen Injection Given to Our Son on Vacation and Thankfully It Turned Out Positively!

I apologize for not posting over the last several weeks.  My computer crashed and my new laptop is finally up and running.  My husband, two boys and myself were on vacation in Florida with family two weeks ago for spring break.  Two days before our last day of vacation the boys and I were in the grocery store reviewing the boxes of the many different flavors of Pop Tarts.  There are a few flavors of Pop Tarts that have been safe in the past for my boys multiple food allergies which are: Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Strawberry, Cherry, and I believe Blueberry.  My boys were excited to try a new flavor and since we were on vacation I was a bit more laid back with them eating a healthy breakfast in the morning.  My youngest handed me a box of Pop Tarts and I read the ingredients and noticed that they contained “milk, eggs, and wheat.”  I then told him the allergens that were in the box and to look for a different “New” flavor.  My oldest then handed me the Cinnamon Swirl box and after reading through the ingredients about 3 times slowly I told him we were safe and they only contained “Wheat” which is not an allergen for my boys.  After that my youngest son chose his box of Pop Tarts, and looking back in hindsight, I believed it was a flavor we had purchased before and I failed to “re-read” the box which was unusual for me but the boys were getting hyper and we needed to get to the check out aisle and complete our shopping trip.

Moving forward, very early the next morning my husband and I were still in bed and both of our boys were on their Ipads just outside of our bedroom on the sofa lounger.  They each knew where the kitchen cupboard was that contained all of their “safe” foods and namely their new and exciting Pop Tart flavors.  We told them they could each grab a Pop Tart.  A few minutes later our youngest son told us his tummy hurt after only eating one third of the Pop Tart.  It was at that moment my husband ran into the kitchen, grabbed the S’Mores Pop Tart box and re-read the label to then shockingly discover they contained not only one but two MAJOR allergens of our boys- “Milk and Eggs!”  I was completely dismayed and shocked this box made it into the grocery cart without me even noticing it!  I had known from past label reading that the S’Mores Pop Tarts contained the lethal allergens for my boys.  Then, our youngest son yelled “Mom! Dad!”  We both rushed upstairs and he had vomited all over the couch and was feeling very lethargic.  At that point we knew something serious was about to ensue and we both kept our calm and comforted our son.  We gave him 2 Benadryl children’s chewable tablets and I grabbed our Emergency Action Plan to review.  I had read it a thousand times before but this time I read it very slowly as if in slow motion paying attention to every single detail.

A few minutes later our little guy ran to the bathroom and had violent diarrhea.  At that point we knew we were headed to the ER because our little guy was not only anaphylactic but an asthmatic which adds another element of fear to this whole process.  About a year earlier he accidentally ingested a Tara chip with milk in it and he described words that made us think his throat was starting to close up.  That said, we knew the Auvi-Q injection was going to be needed.

We loaded into the car and I drove our youngest to the ER which was about 4 miles away in South Naples thankfully.  My husband stayed back with our oldest son.   On the way to the hospital I kept talking and reassuring my little 5 year old that everything was going to be okay.  In the heat of the moment I was surprised that I was able to keep my composure and do what was necessary- get us to the hospital safely.  I kept telling my son that he was such a brave big boy and I would have to give him the Epi-Pen injection when we parked the car.  I reassured him that he didn’t cry this year when he got his flu shot and he Epi-Pen would feel about the same.

I parked the car in the lot adjacent to the ER entrance doors and quickly got out of the driver’s side door.   I walked around to my son’s door, opened the door and told him it was time for the Epi-Pen (Auvi-Q).  I pulled the injector out of it’s housing sleeve like I had done a thousand times before with the trainer and then told my son to squeeze my hand really hard while I injected the Auvi-Q into his right quadricep.  Then we listened to to injector count down from 10 to 1 and then it said “Injection complete.”

I then whisked my brave son up into my arms as I ran into the Emergency Room.  My son then said, “Mom that didn’t even hurt.”   I held back the tears trying to wear my brave hat as well.  Thankfully the waiting room wasn’t very busy and we were admitted back into the initial screening room right away where they took my son’s blood pressure, listened to his breathing and took his weight.  I calmly reiterated to the nurse what had happened and that I was fearful that his breathing may continue to decline like it had during the previous allergic food reaction a year ago.

Long story short, when the ER doc finally came back to take our son’s vitals he reassured me that I did the right thing by giving him the Epi-Pen.  He said that “it was the right move given our son’s past food reaction, asthma and being on vacation in an unfamiliar town.”  The doctor said that he thankfully was NOT going into anaphylactic shock.  Due to new standards across the country for ER patients admitted after being injected with Epinephrine, they would have to monitor him for 6 hours post-shot.  This is because in the past patients have been released too prematurely and have had more serious allergic reactions landing them back in the Emergency Room.

Our son received a pretty large liquid dose of children’s prednisone to continue to help his body fight off the reaction and we began counting down the hours in the ER.

It was a LONG and stressful day in the ER but bottom line is that we took the necessary precautions to get our son to the ER to receive further treatment.

I beat myself up for days post-reaction thinking what I could have done differently to avoid such an allergic reaction?  I kept asking myself, “If I can make a mistake like this and I re-read all labels multiple times and I’m extremely precautious and diligent then it can happen to anyone.”  I finally came to terms with the fact that this was a freak accident and that accidents will happen with our children in the future with regards to allergen exposure.  I kept reassuring myself that both my husband and I acted quickly in the heat of the moment and followed our son’s emergency action plan which I believe ultimately kept the reaction from worsening which could have resulted in a lethal ending.

This was a very emotional situation for both of our sons, my husband and myself.  The lesson learned here is that we can move forth with positivity knowing that we have all trained ourselves how to act promptly during an emergency allergen exposure situation.  Please ALWAYS carry your Epi-Pen auto injectors.