Autoinjector training devices are self-injectable devices that may administer medications via the subcutaneous or intramuscular routes. Prefilled syringes or cartridges are housed within and activated by a spring mechanism. This tool’s primary advantages are self-administration, increased compliance, less anxiety, and precise dosing. Emergencies, including anaphylaxis, migraines, status epilepticus, and long-term illnesses like psoriasis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, often necessitate quick action. More and more autoinjectors have entered clinical usage due to several factors, including the reformulation of first-generation biologics, technological breakthroughs, inventive designs, patient compliance, and the overwhelming interest in self-administration.
The pharmaceutical industry is very competitive, and every firm must find a way to set itself apart from the pack. Patient-centered approaches that reduce the perceived burden of a prescription medication’s treatment plan might be the answer.
This is especially crucial in the self-injection of biological medications, as many patients are unfamiliar with or comfortable with the equipment. Research shows that needle phobia can be a severe problem for people who have been administered injectable medications. Other research suggests that patients are more likely to discontinue therapy or misuse their devices if they are not adequately trained during the first 30 to 90 days of treatment. To provide patients with the best possible service, pharmaceutical companies should investigate potential solutions to these issues.
The fields of technology and engineering provide one potential answer. Training devices for autoinjectors have improved dramatically in recent years, allowing patients to become more comfortable and proficient with self-injection before using their autoinjectors daily.
A solid example of how autoinjector trainers may be made more realistic while still delivering many advantages to users is the agitator needle simulation tip, released to the commercial market by Noble® in November 2017.
Guidelines for the Development of Agitator Simulation Training Equipment
Trainers that simulate manual autoinjectors, in which the user presses a button to release the needle, can benefit from the agitator’s needle simulation tip function.
Before commercially marketed autoinjector trainers were available, the onboarding procedure for self-injection patients formerly relied on methods such as practicing injections on an orange. Training with an agitator needle simulation tip, on the other hand, gives patients a realistic feel for injecting themselves with a prescription autoinjector by simulating the four stages of needle insertion:
Deformation \sPuncture \sInsertion \sExtraction.
The use of simulated needle agitator tips has three significant advantages:
- Injectors now have a clearer idea of what side effects to look out for.
- Patients learn to trust their ability to self-inject
- There is less worry when needles are involved.
Autoinjector simulators with agitator needle simulation tips have been shown to reduce patient anxiety by simulating the experience of injecting a drug. Many people who are afraid of needles end up finding that the experience isn’t as bad as they thought it would be. This is crucial because some patients, fearful of the discomfort they may experience, may attempt to withdraw the needle shortly after it has been inserted. As a result, they may not get the full benefit of the drug.
Patients can get used to the feeling of a needle being inserted and practice holding it there for the entire interval by using a trainer with an agitator needle simulation tip, as directed by the manufacturer (IFU).
In addition, the user can reduce the likelihood of mishaps like needlestick injuries or wet injections by practicing before administering the injection themselves.
Compatible with Other Autoinjectors
Autoinjector trainers are not limited to a particular medication class or patient type when using agitator needle stimulation tips. Noble conceived of and created agitator needle simulation tips compatible with a wide range of trainers that mimic the diversity of commercially available autoinjectors, prefilled syringes, and maybe other self-injection equipment.
Depending on the demands of the pharmaceutical company, a wide variety of trainers can be outfitted with “device-agnostic” characteristics, such as agitator needle stimulation tips. Autoinjector trainers can add elements like simulated plunger speeds and actuation forces with various preset components and the agitator’s needle stimulation tips. These can provide a more lifelike simulation of administering an injection with the actual autoinjector.
Directions for Using an Epinephrine Autoinjector
What you need to do to use an autoinjector properly may vary depending on the device your doctor has recommended. Review the autoinjector’s instructions if you obtain a new device (or a prescription refill). This is crucial since you could get a new device, or the instructions might be somewhat different than before (for example, if your healthcare provider switches you from a brand name to a generic version).
It’s also a good idea to study visual guides, such as movies or photographs, on how to use the autoinjector if you (or your child) ever need it. This will explain how to remove the safety cap, position the device for injection, administer the drug, and maintain proper positioning of the device. As some instructions advise, swinging the device raises the risk of either not placing it where you desire or twisting it.
Using an autoinjector on oneself or another person should be done in the company of others. Epinephrine injection is given into the outside of the upper thigh (Figure 1). The injector can be used while fully clothed; disrobing is unnecessary. To avoid accidentally snagging a buckle, zipper, or pocket contents, you can pull down the pants or raise the hem of a skirt.
Following Autoinjection, What Should You Do?
As soon as possible after administering an autoinjector to a person experiencing an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, they should seek emergency medical attention. Though epinephrine itself is harmless, there have been cases when it helped alleviate symptoms of an allergic response, only to have them reappear after the medication wore off. After receiving emergency care, you will be closely observed for many hours so that you may receive immediate follow-up care if necessary.
If you can, have someone else make the emergency call (in the United States and Canada, call 9-1-1 for an ambulance). Do not wait for help to arrive before using the autoinjector on yourself.
Someone who has had an autoinjector used to treat an allergic response may feel weak or dizzy afterward. If this occurs, have them lie down with their knees or feet elevated. If the individual feels faint or has fainted, you should let them rest lying down. Never support their body since this might cut off blood flow to vital organs, including the brain and heart.
The drug’s advantages outweigh epinephrine’s potential drawbacks. In certain people, however, epinephrine may induce temporary adverse effects. The following are some of the most frequently reported adverse effects:
- Heart – Racing heartbeat, short-term chest discomfort, etc.
- Symptoms of the nervous system include agitation, sweating, shivering, a pounding heart, a splitting headache, and sometimes even vertigo.
- “Digestive system – Nausea, dry throat”
- Lungs – Intermittent difficulty breathing
Wherever the drug was injected into the thigh, you may experience discomfort.