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Epinephrine

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.

Last Revised: April 29, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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