Epi Pen Law - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Epi Pen Law

President Obama signed a bill into law, Wednesday allowing schools to have a "stock" of Epi Pens used for both students and staff.

The Epi Pen uses the drug Epinephrine, which is commonly used for people with food allergies.

"An Epi Pen is an auto injector and there is Epinephrine that's in it.  It's used to treat an anaphylactic reaction or an allergic reaction," said Pharmacist in Charge at Market Street, Tandy Martin.

The new law is called the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which allows states who are able to receive grants to use Epi Pens in school for students and staff who may not have known allergies.

The Emergency Epinephrine law encourages schools to have a stock of Epi Pens on hand not just for students with allergies.

"I think it's very important for them to have a stock of this just for the simple fact that these reactions can turn deadly within minutes. If it's something the school has, it could be life saving," said Martin.

When using an Epi Pen, Martin suggests all school staff, not just nurses, be trained.

"All teachers and staff members at a school whether it's the Nurse, Coaches or Principal, I think all staff members would need to know this because it does have to be properly used," said Martin. 

Though the Emergency Epinephrine law allows students and staff to use the Epi Pen without a prescription, its handlers must be careful.

"We have to use caution. Some of the side effects, the dizziness, the vomiting, and an increase in the heart rate can occur" said Martin. 

In case of an unexpected severe reaction, Epi Pens are good to have because they can be used as a life saving injection.

Epi Pens are not over the counter drugs mainly because they require proper training.

To date, only 27 states have laws permitting the use of an Epi Pen in schools without a prescription.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6

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