"You know what I just realized....no one has mentioned anything about correct dosages or contraindications or when it should be used. You can really f some one up if you don't know this."
The dose for Epi (at least in Sask.) is 0.5mg and can be reapeated as needed in 5 - 10 mins.
Most of the contraindications can't be checked by the average person, but if the pt. is tachycardic (heart rate over 100bpm) I would think twice about it!
Having high blood pressure doesn't always show with the headache, blurred vision etc. so unless you have a B/P cuff you may never know...thats why it's called the silent killer...most people don't even know they have it.
Epi will increase your B/P and heart rate, it will also make you photophobic, due to pupillary dilation (epi acts on the sympathetic nervous system - "fight or flight") so yeah you will start to breath faster and feel anxious, dry mouth, diaphoresis etc.
Giving IM means it will get into your system faster but the Sub-Q route means it wiil have a slightly longer effect.
My advice is know when to give/take it...take a course, talk to your Dr. and even after that, if in doubt don't give it...having said that, do the benefits outweigh the risk??...What would yo do if you best bud was looking really bad and you were 4 hours from any kind of help?...if you leave him/her to get help they could very well die, if you give the epi you may save their life...then again you may not!
I don't mean to be a downer but the harsh reality is that the human body, while a wonderful piece of engineering, is not a machine and the thing that worked for it yesterday may not work today!
So you have to make the decision...I know what I would do, but then I'm a Paramedic