A Dangerous Practice in Online Videos. The How to Guide on Squeezing Extra Doses out of an Epipen

A well known Tampa Doctor is Sounding the Alarm
Posted at 6:52 PM, Oct 20, 2016

The man in the YouTube video uses a hunting knife to cut open an Epipen. He takes out the syringe and claims there are multiple doses worth of Epinephrine inside the Epipen.

We found at least two of these videos online, showing patients how to literally cut corners.

"There's a substantial amount of Epinephrinein this vial," one video proclaims.

"Yes it's dangerous it's not the right thing to do," says Dr. Richard Lockey.

We showed the video to Dr. Lockey, a distinguished USF health professor.

"Is everybody that good with a knife? Does everyone carry a knife like that?," he says as we watches the video with us.

Dr. Lockey says cutting open an Epipen is not only dangerous but impractical during an emergency.

"It's not practical for 99 percent of people because they're not doctors. That's why you have something like this that they can use automatically," he says.

Then the doctor showed us his own $30 solution to a $600 problem. It's a cheaper alternative to the Epipen that few people know about.

You can buy smaller "single shot" doses of Epinephrine for $30.

Why is it cheaper?  Because you have to inject it yourself.

Dr. Lockey says you can buy those single shot doses at most drug stores, with a prescription for just 30 dollars compared to the 600 dollar Epipen.

As for cutting open an Epipen to get extra doses, Dr. Lockey says it should only be a last resort during an emergency.