A BRAND of adrenaline pens has been recalled over fears they don't administer the correct dose needed to treat a severe allergic reaction.
Health officials have warned there is a risk some Emerade pens are faulty and have a blockage in the needle.
The fault is preventing the devices from delivering the correct dose of adrenaline needed when a patient suffers anaphylaxis.
Most of the pens will still activate, but more force may need to be applied, according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
It's urging those who carry an Emerade 500mcg auto-injector to contact their prescriber and seek replacements of an alternative brand.
Emerade 150mcg and 300mcg have already been recalled – in March and April this year, respectively.
The watchdog said it had to carry out the recall in three separate phases to ensure there would be enough supplies of the alternative pens – EpiPen or Jext – to be available for patients.
Despite the problem being first spotted in June 2018 during routine testing, the fault was thought to be rare as it involved only 1.5 in every 10,000 pens.
An MHRA spokesperson, said: “Action has been taken to protect patients, following detection of a fault in one component of the Emerade adrenaline auto-injector pens.
“Patients should return all Emerade 500mcg pens to their local pharmacy once they have a new prescription and have been supplied with pens of an alternative brand.
“It is vital that patients follow existing advice to carry two pens with them at all times and to contact their doctor when a replacement is due.
“When switching to a different brand of adrenaline pen the patient must ensure they are familiar with how to use the pen as each brand is administered differently.”
Healthcare professionals have been advised to contact patients who carry the pens, made by Bausch & Lomb UK Limited, so they can get a prescription for an alternative brand.
Patients will then be asked to return them to their local pharmacy where they can collect their new prescription.
Alternative brands of adrenaline auto-injector are available in a maximum strength of 300mcg.
But there is data to show that a single EpiPen (300mcg) or Jext (30mcg) pen will be a suitable replacement for a single Emerade 500mg pen, the MHRA said.
Those that need replacement pens are being warned to also follow social distancing advice.
The MHRA says that a telephone appointment can be made with a doctor to request a prescription – do not visit your GP surgery in person unless the doctor advises otherwise.
Request your prescription is sent to a pharmacy to avoid collecting it in person from the surgery.
If you or someone else in your household is self-isolating, ask someone else to collect your prescription or use a home delivery service, if available.
Once you have the replacement auto-injector pens, return Emerade 500mcg pens to the pharmacy – Some have drop-off boxes to facilitate distancing.
The spokesperson added: "At present, healthcare professionals are unlikely to be able to help with face to face training but there may be opportunities for remote consultations.
"Patients must take particular care to read the instructions on how to use the pen which are in the leaflet contained in the box.
"The manufacturers’ websites for each brand of pen have information and training videos on how to use the auto-injector."
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