AUVI-Q is a one of the many EpiPen products that is available for those who experience severe allergies. This auto-injector pen contains epinephrine, which primarily works to constrict, or narrow, the blood vessels in the body and open up the airways in the lungs. When a person is having an allergic reaction, it can cause blood pressure to drop significantly and make it difficult to breath. This can be life threatening if left untreated, which makes an EpiPen a critical life-saving device for anyone with severe allergic reactions. The AUVI-Q comes in three different dosages, and it is only covered by a few Medicare insurance plans, so it is important to look at your specific coverage options if you are considering this epinephrine product.
What is Anaphylactic Shock?
Anaphylaxis, also known as anaphylactic shock, occurs when the body has a severe reaction to an allergen. Many things can cause an anaphylactic reaction, including foods, insect stings, latex, certain medications, and more. When exposed to an allergen, your body’s immune system releases several chemicals that cause inflammation to occur throughout the body.
The symptoms that are commonly seen during an allergic reaction include a rash, hives, itchiness, chest tightness, trouble breathing, difficulty swallowing, vomiting or diarrhea, fainting, a feeling of impending doom, and others. Not all of these symptoms are present with every reaction, but they can be very dangerous and must be treated immediately.
The symptoms usually set in just 5 to 30 minutes after exposure to the allergen, so it is important to treat them right away. In many cases, you will not be in your home or be able to get to a hospital in time. Because of this, carrying an EpiPen is critical to ensure your health and safety if you do experience a reaction.
How does AUVI-Q Work?
The AUVI-Q auto-injector is an epinephrine, or adrenaline, injection device that comes available in three strengths. The 0.1-milligram device is optimal for infants and toddlers that weigh between 16.5 and 33 pounds. The next highest strength offered is 0.15 milligrams, which is best for children weighing between 33 and 66 pounds. The strongest product offered by AUVI-Q contains 0.3 milligrams and will work for any individual weighing over 66 pounds.
The AUVI-Q was designed with the user in mind. This product is easy to use and has voice-activated instructions to guide the user through the administration process in the event that an emergency occurs. The injection process consists of only three steps.
First, you will hold the device against your or your child’s outer thigh with the large black arrow pointing towards the skin. Then, you must press the button on the top of the device and hold it for two seconds. While you are holding it, the AUVI-Q will count down out loud. After the two seconds, the needle will inject into the skin, administer the epinephrine dose, and withdraw back into the device. The AUVI-Q device will then say that the injection is complete.
Does Medicare Coverage Include the AUVI-Q?
The AUVI-Q is listed at an extremely high price of $4,500. However, this is rarely, if ever, the price that the device is sold for. Some Medicare insurance plans do offer coverage for this product, but it is very much so on a case by case basis. If you are looking to purchase this product, you should check to see if your Medicare coverage through either a Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan will pay for this device.