The FDA has approved the first-ever epinephrine auto-injector equipped with audio and visual tools that are meant to guide patients through the injection process.

The injector Auvi-Q™, manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi US, is an emergency treatment for those suffering from life-threatening allergic reactions, also known anaphylaxis.  Such episodes typically occur after exposures to certain allergens, including nuts, shellfish, insect bites, medication and more.

Auvi-Q is approximately the size and shape of a credit card and the thickness of a smart phone, meaning it can be stored in pockets and small purses.  Sanofi noted that the injector has a retractable needle mechanism in order to prevent accidental needle sticks.

According to Sanofi, approximately six million people are at risk of anaphylaxis in the United States. However, two-thirds of patients and caregivers do not carry epinephrine shots with them as recommended.  Surveys have also found that half of patients are concerned that others will not know how to use their devices in times of emergency.

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