Adrenaline or epinephrine is a vasoactive hormone secreted by the adrenal glands under alert or emergency situations. In addition to being naturally found in the body, it can be injected to treat life-threatening allergic reactions caused by insect bites , food , medications , latex, and other causes.


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Origin of adrenaline
  • 3 Effects
    • 1 Side Effects
  • 4 Uses as medicine
    • 1 Pediatric use
  • 5 Sources


In May 1886 , William Bates , through a publication in the New York Medical Journal, brought to light the discovery of a substance that was produced by the adrenal glands (also known as adrenals). But it was nine years after a Polish physiologist, Napoleon Cybulski identified her. In 1904 , for the first time in history, Friedrich Stolz artificially synthesized adrenaline.

Origin of adrenaline

The preganglionic fibers that originate in the lower part of the dorsal spinal cord go through the lesser splanchnic nerve to the celiac ganglion without making a synapse in it, from where they continue to the adrenal medulla.

Its axons reach chromaffin cells , which contain vesicles that store adrenaline. In response to a stimulus, adrenaline is secreted into the Blood and distributed through the bloodstream, to go to those effectors that have adrenergic receptors (such as hepatocytes, adipocytes, and blood cells).

The formation of adrenaline is carried out from norepinephrine, using the common route used by all catecholamines, such as Dopamine , L-dopa, Norepinephrine and adrenaline. Its biosynthesis is exclusively controlled by the Central Nervous System .


First of all, adrenaline is an action hormone , secreted by the adrenal glands in response to a dangerous situation. Its action is mediated by adrenergic receptors, both α and β type. Among the physiological effects it produces are:

  • Increase, through its action in Liver and Muscles , the concentration of Glucose in Blood . This occurs because, like Glucagon , epinephrine mobilizes hepatic glycogen stores and, unlike glucagon, also muscle.
  • Increase Blood Pressure: this is due to the Dale effect, where in high concentrations of adrenaline, the alpha1 effects mask the beta2 effects by increasing the pressure; but in low concentrations, epinephrine produces a drop in blood pressure in response to beta2 effects since it has a greater affinity for these than for alpha1.
  • Increase the pace Heart .
  • Dilates the pupil providing better vision.
  • It increases respiration, which is why it has been used as a medicine against asthma and acute laryngitis.
  • It can stimulate the brain to produce Dopamine , the hormone responsible for the feeling of well-being, and can create Addiction .

Adrenaline and related compounds produce adrenergic effects that are both excitatory and inhibitory. Those responses attributed to activation of an alpha receptor are primarily exciting, with the exception of intestinal relaxation. Those responses attributed to beta receptor activation are primarily inhibitory, with the exception of myocardial stimulatory effects.

Side effects

Epinephrine injection may cause side effects. When you get emergency medical treatment after injecting epinephrine, tell your doctor if you are experiencing any of these side effects:

  • difficulty breathing
  • palpitations, fast or irregular heartbeat
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sweating
  • dizziness
  • nervousness, anxiety, or restlessness
  • weakness
  • pale skin
  • headache
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body

Uses as medicine

As a medicine it is used to improve the electrical conduction of the heart . Adrenaline is also used in EpiPens and Twinjects. In cardiac arrest this is used as the medicine of first choice. It is also often used in cases of asthma attacks and laryngitis in the form of mists.

Pediatric use

  • Epinephrine 1: 1000 (amp 1mg / ml)
  • Dose: 0.01ml / kg / dose, every 30 min.
  • Via: SC
  • Warning: Do not exceed 3 tenths per dose

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