Health Canada announced that they have secured a temporary supply of AUVI-Q® epinephrine auto-injectors to help mitigate the current supply shortage of the EpiPen® 0.3 mg dose (adult dose). AUVI-Q auto-injectors were previously known as Allerject auto-injectors here in Canada.
The Allerject auto-injectors were recalled in Canada due to a delivery malfunction. They have been re-engineered, according the manufacturer Kaléo. They function identically to the previous Allerject version from the user’s point of view though. The re-engineering was done to fix the internal delivery of the medication.
What is AUVI-Q?
AUVI-Q is an epinephrine auto-injector (similar to the EpiPen®) which is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis. AUVI-Q differs from the EpiPen® as it provides voice prompts that guide the user with step-by-step instructions through the delivery process. It also has a safety feature in which the needle automatically retracts after the epinephrine injection is complete.
Are There Cost Differences Between EpiPen and AUVI-Q?
Yes, AUVI-Q is more expensive than EpiPen®. There are differences in technology between the AUVI-Q and EpiPen auto-injectors.
What Languages Does the AUVI-Q Speak?
Since the AUVI-Q is a U.S. product, it does not include any French labeling. Pharmacies have been provided with a French information sheet, which can also be found here.
Things to Remember
With the supply constraints in mind, please continue to follow these tips:
- There may be a limit placed on the number of auto-injectors you receive from the pharmacy. Please continue to be mindful in requesting additional auto-injectors beyond what is necessary to allow for as many people as possible to have access to this medication.
- If your local pharmacy does not have any auto-injectors in stock, please check with other pharmacies in your area as limited inventory is available for each location.
IMPORTANT: If a new auto-injector is not available, a recently expired device may be used to treat an anaphylactic reaction in an emergency. The expiry date applies to the last day of the month outlined on the device. For example, if your device expires in October, it remains valid (not expired) until October 31st.
Health Canada Patient Information Leaflet
Health Canada has provided a full document, which outlines:
- Who should use the AUVI-Q device
- Possible side-effects
- How to store your device
- Instructions for use
The Health Canada patient information leaflet for the AUVI-Q device can be found here.
If you have additional questions about the temporary supply, please contact Health Canada at 1-866-225-0709.