Pfizer Canada Re-Issues Warning: Some EpiPens May Stick in Tube

in Food Allergy, News
Published: October 13, 2019

Health Canada is warning consumers to check their EpiPen and EpiPen Jr devices – to see whether any stick in the tube carrier.

Pfizer Canada and Pfizer Inc. (the U.S. device manufacturer) first warned in the fall of 2018 of a tube issue with a very small number of devices in both the United States and Canada.

While this October 2019 advisory is being re-issued in Canada, so far there has been no new advisory for EpiPen brand and generic auto-injectors sold to U.S. customers.

Pfizer Canada, which distributes EpiPens in Canada, told Health Canada that “the device label has been improperly applied to a very small number of devices in a way that the device label may become stuck to the inside of the carrier tube.”

Health Agency’s Advice

Health Canada says no EpiPens devices themselves are faulty, but rather the issue is with sticking in the tube. This could delay retrieving a device from the carrier in an emergency. Epinephrine needs to be administered swiftly in a severe allergic reaction.

The agency gives this advice:

  • Check your or your child’s EpiPen devices. Flip open the carrier tube cap, turn the tube upside down and let the device slide out into your hand (do not shake or drop it). Look at your device to make sure the label has no unglued edges that may catch on the tube.
  • If an EpiPen device sticks or does not slide out easily from its tube, or the device label has unglued edges, return it to your pharmacist for replacement. “Do NOT attempt to remove or re-attach the label under any circumstances.”

The affected Canadian products are: EpiPen 0.3 mg (DIN 00509558) and EpiPen Jr 0.15 mg (DIN 00578657), which expire on or before September 2020. Health Canada has more information here.

If you live in the U.S. and think you are experiencing the sticking issue with an EpiPen device, you may report an issue via the FDA’s MedWatch program.

Related: November 2018 article: FDA Warns EpiPen May Stick in Tube