Another Cheaper EpiPen Alternative Just Got FDA Approval

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Posted on

Watch out EpiPen there’s (another) new kid on the block. On June 15, 2017, Adamis Pharmaceuticals received FDA approval for Symjepi, their new epinephrine injection. Symjepi joins Adrenaclick, Auvi-Q, and others as an alternative to the expensive treatment for severe allergic reactions. Adamis also anticipates a low cost for the life-saving medication.

As you may know Mylan Pharmaceuticals has been in the news quite a bit in the past year due to the price hike of their EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. products. The cost of EpiPen went up by close to 600%—an alarming price increase for a medication needed to prevent life-threatening allergic reactions.

The introduction of new epinephrine products, like Symjepi, as well as the reintroduction of Auvi-Q, the epinephrine injector that was recalled back in October 2015, should hopefully continue to drive the cost of these medications back down.

How will Symjepi be available?

Similar to EpiPen, Symjepi will be available as a single-dose prefilled 0.3 mg/0.3 mL syringe.

How is Symjepi used?

Symjepi differs from EpiPen in that it’s a manual injection (not an auto-injector pen). You’ll inject the medication either intramuscularly (into the muscle) or subcutaneously (under the skin) into the outer thigh area. Symjepi can be injected through clothing if necessary.

A second dose of Symjepi may be necessary if symptoms continue or recur. If you need more than two injections though, be aware that only a healthcare provider should give additional doses of epinephrine.

Who can use Symjepi?

Symjepi isn’t recommended for small children (there isn’t a lower dose option, like EpiPen Jr). It’s indicated for people weighing 66 lbs or more.

What are the side effects associated with Symjepi?

The most common side effects include anxiety, apprehensiveness, restlessness, tremor, weakness, dizziness, sweating, palpitations, nausea and vomiting, headache, and breathing problems. This is about the same for any epinephrine injection.

Is there anything unique about Symjepi?

Symjepi is expected to be low cost and have a small, user-friendly design. The manufacturer believes Symjepi could be an attractive option for a significant portion of both patients and professionals.

What other epinephrine products are out there?

How much will Symjepi cost?

At this time the manufacturer has only said Symjepi will be “lower cost”—the exact price isn’t known yet.

When will Symjepi be available?

Symjepi is set to be in pharmacies later this year.

Is there a junior (lower dose) version of Symjepi?

No—currently, only the 0.3 mg/0.3 mL version is approved. However, according to the Adamis Pharmaceuticals press release, they are already preparing to submit the proper paperwork to the FDA to get approval for the junior (0.15 mg) version of Symjepi.

Drugs featured in this story

Filed under