An Auto-Injector Cheat Sheet

Last week, I talked about epinephrine and how it works in the body. So naturally, this week I thought I would go over the different types of autoinjectors.

Depending on the age and weight of the person, there are a few different options. The decision also comes down to preference and familiarity. Each type of auto-injectors operates a little differently, so it’s best to consult with a doctor to decide which one is best for you. Here are the top 5 choices:

1. EpiPen 
EpiPen Auto-Injectors
Now, I often say EpiPen interchangeably with the auto-injector. My family chose the EpiPen for me based on my doctor’s recommendation and availability. There wasn’t a lot of options 20ish years ago.

There’s two types of EpiPens: EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. As you probably have guessed, EpiPen is for adults, and EpiPen Jr. is for children. The difference between the two is the dosage amount.

EpiPens are narrow and longer than some models. They are easy to stick into a bag, purse, backpack or any carrier.

2. Impax Epinephrine Auto-Injector 


Impax offers an auto-injector that works very similar to the EpiPen. It’s long but narrower and is also enclosed in a protective case.  The process of distributing the epinephrine is almost identical to the EpiPen. It’s also available in two dosages.



The AUVI-Q is a little different than the other two options. Its smaller and more compact, and is designed to help anyone be able to know how to use it.  It has two unique features, voice instructions and an automatic needle retraction system.

What does this mean? When you remove the cap off of the injector, it starts to play instructions on what exactly to do step by step. Once you’ve distributed the epinephrine, the needle gets sucked back into the injector instead of sticking out the end. It also has two doses options.


The Kids with Food Allergies website has a great comparison chart with more information on the auto-injector options.


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