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Basics of Epinephrine

Basics of Epinephrine

Epinephrine is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland of the kidney in the body. It is a catecholamine, a monoamine that belongs to the biogenic amines family.  It is naturally produced by our body to stimulate certain organs for us to attain high-level of energy. It was named as epinephrine, which is derived from the Greek word “ephi” and “nephros” which means “from the kidney”.  As adrenaline flows through the blood stream it provides effects to the body’s autonomous nervous system. It also affects the sympathetic nervous system which participates in the fight or flight response.

This neurotransmitter is related to Calm PRT, Kavinace, AdreCor, Balance D, and ExcitaPlus.

In 1904, epinephrine was successfully identified and first synthesized by Friedrich Stolz and Henry Drysdale Dakin independently.


Adrenaline: Usage and Indications

Epinephrine nowadays is synthesized for medical purposes and used as sympathicomimeticum, broncholyticum and antiasthmaticum. During surgery, it is also used to prevent internal bleeding. Combined with local anesthetics, it prolongs the action of the anesthetic agent and  it is more effective and can be taken with low dosages. In general, adrenaline is a stimulant, helps the body to produce higher energy level and to maintain an activated state. It is also useful within the brain for emotional states. It is used to treat glaucoma, caused by a blockage in the eye, which prevents fluids to flow resulting to pressure build up which can cause pain and discomfort. In medicine, adrenaline is used as a drug to treat illness such as, stimulation of cardiac action for cardiac arrest and for patients undergoing immunotherapy.


Contraindications, Interactions, Precautions and Side effects

Epinephrine is not suitable in patients suffering narrow-angle glaucoma, uncontrolled hypertension, life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm, and during the second stage of labor. It should be taken and used cautiously with patients with hyperthyroidism, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases such as angina and arrhythmias, stroke and prostatic enlargement.

Patients administered with adrenaline may experience sudden anxiety, fear and tremor. Having cold fingers and toes and having dry-mouth are caused by vasoconstriction. The patient may also suffer from headaches, pallor (also due to vasoconstriction), and an excessive rise in blood pressure. Adrenaline can also cause hyperventilation and intra-cerebral bleeding leading to strokes.

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