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Epinephrine


Epinephrine is an injected medicine used to treat severe allergic reactions, breathing problems, and cardiac arrest.

Epinephrine:

  • Stops further release of histamine and other chemicals, preventing an increasingly severe reaction.
  • Narrows the blood vessels, which raises blood pressure. This may prevent the severe low blood pressure that occurs during a severe allergic reaction.
  • Stops leakage of fluids from blood vessels into body tissues.
  • Relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract, relieving wheezing and breathing difficulty.
  • Increases the heart rate.

A severe or fatal stroke, heart irregularity, or heart attack can occur if the wrong dose of epinephrine is mistakenly injected into a blood vessel or if an overdose is given.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedApril 29, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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