Self-injectable adrenaline: how to use it?

Adrenaline is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is used when a person has cardiac arrest. It can be administered in several ways, but Today we already have the self-injectable adrenaline.

This device allows us to administer adrenaline to ourselves. without the intervention of a health staff.

This fact has allowed to avoid numerous fatal situations. In general, Adrenaline is used in urgent situations, in which the patient's life is in great danger due to cardiac arrest or anaphylactic shock.

Self-injectable adrenaline it is a device that contains adrenaline in solution that is subject to medical prescription. 2 presentations with 2 different doses are available:

  • 0.15 mg dose: advisable for children from 10 to 25 kg of weight.
  • 0.30 mg dose: advisable for people weighing more than 25 kg.

Adrenaline increases the heart rate considerably, as well as constricting blood vessels and dilating the airways. It is also the neurotransmitter that quickly segregates in dangerous and emergency situations, preparing the body to face them.

It is important to know that adrenaline is, specifically, a catecholamine. Its chemical structure is a monoamine which is synthesized in the adrenal glands and whose precursors are phenylalanine and tyrosine.

Forms of administration of adrenaline

Before focusing on self-injectable adrenaline, Let's see other ways to administer this medicine.

In hospitals, this catecholamine It is prepared as a solution to administer by injection. However, there are more routes that can be used as needed:

  • Intramuscular (IM).
  • Subcutaneous
  • Intravenous (IV): under cardiac monitoring and previously diluting the adrenaline solution in water for injection of different concentrations as necessary.
  • Intracardiac: only in cases of extreme severity and if the intravenous route is not practicable. The same precautions should also be taken as for intravenous administration.

Discover: Tips for giving an intramuscular injection

How is adrenaline autoinjectable?

In the market, we found two different brands under which is the self-injectable adrenaline: Altellus and Jext.

Both have a cylindrical shape, similar to a writing pen. At one end of this cylinder is a protected needle that will serve for administration. At the other end of the cylinder is a safety cap that must be removed at the time of administration.

When the needle is stuck, once the safety cap on the other end has been removed, the needle comes out and enters the area where you want to inject the substance. However, below, we will see exactly how to use it correctly.

Read also: 5 differences between urgency and emergency that you should know

How to use self-injectable adrenaline

The recommended area to inject adrenaline is in the thigh, even if it's going through the clothes, since it is an area with a lot of muscle mass.

It will press down until a click is heard, so that the needle reaches the muscle and can be absorbed and distributed correctly. After, the injectable should be kept for 10 seconds. After this time, you can remove the needle and massage the area to facilitate absorption.

These are the steps to follow for the correct use of self-injectable adrenaline:

  1. Grab the cylinder with hand, as if it were a dagger.
  2. Remove the lid which is located in the widest part of the device.
  3. Support the narrow part of the device on the thigh, on the part where there is more muscle mass. You can do it even through clothes.
  4. Press perpendicularly until a “click” is heard. It can also be administered by nailing it with a dry blow, instead of pressing.
  5. Hold the position for about 10 seconds, to ensure that the entire dose is administered.
  6. Remove and give a massage, as we have said, for another 10 seconds to improve adrenaline absorption.

Children who need it should be taught, to family members and their caregivers how to use self-injectable adrenaline in order to avoid further complications.


The adrenaline It is a drug administered by different routes, depending on the patient's clinical situation, for the treatment of cardiac arrest and anaphylactic reactions, mainly.

There are self-injectable adrenaline formulations that they should be prescribed by a doctor for the immediate treatment of anaphylactic shock.

Consult with a professional all the doubts you have in order to be clear on how to administer this medication correctly.