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Details with Side Effects
Injury with Undiluted Intraocular Solution This product must be diluted before intraocular use. Epinephrine containing sodium bisulfite has been associated with corneal endothelial damage when used in the eye at undiluted concentrations (1 mg/mL) [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Incorrect Locations of Injection
Injection into the anterolateral aspect of the thigh (vastus lateralis muscle) is the most appropriate location for administration because of its location, size, and available blood flow. Injection into (or near) smaller muscles, such as in the deltoid, is not recommended due to possible differences in absorption associated with this use.
Do not inject into buttock. Injection into the buttock may not provide effective treatment of anaphylaxis and has been associated with the development of gas gangrene. Cleansing with alcohol does not kill bacterial spores, and therefore, does not lower this risk.
Do not inject into digits, hands, or feet. Epinephrine is a strong vasoconstrictor. Accidental injection into the digits, hands or feet may result in loss of blood flow to the affected area and has been associated with tissue necrosis.
Some patients may be at greater risk for developing adverse reactions after systemic epinephrine administration. Despite these concerns, the presence of these conditions is not a contraindication to epinephrine administration in an acute, life-threatening situation.
Patients with Heart Disease
Epinephrine should be administered with caution in patients who have heart disease, including patients with cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery or organic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, or hypertension. In such patients, or in patients who are on drugs that may sensitize the heart to arrhythmias, epinephrine may precipitate or aggravate angina pectoris as well as produce ventricular arrhythmias. [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS]
Other Patients and Diseases
Epinephrine should be administered with caution to patients with hyperthyroidism, Parkinson's disease, diabetes mellitus, pheochromocytoma, elderly individuals, and pregnant women. Patients with Parkinson's disease may experience psychomotor agitation or notice a temporary worsening of symptoms. Diabetic patients may experience transient increases in blood sugar.
Allergic Reactions Associated with Sulfite
Adrenalin® contains sodium bisulfite which may cause mild to severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis or asthmatic episodes in susceptible individuals. However, the presence of bisulfite in this product should not preclude its use for the treatment of serious allergic or other emergency situations even if the patient is sulfite-sensitive, as the alternatives to using epinephrine in a life-threatening situation may not be satisfactory.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long- term studies to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of epinephrine have not been conducted. Epinephrine and other catecholamines have been shown to have mutagenic potential in vitro.
Epinephrine was positive in the Salmonella bacterial reverse mutation assay, positive in the mouse lymphoma assay, and negative in the in vivo micronucleus assay. Epinephrine is an oxidative mutagen based on the E. coli WP2 Mutoxitest bacterial reverse mutation assay. This should not prevent the use of epinephrine under the conditions noted under Indications and Usage (1).
The potential for epinephrine to impair reproductive performance has not been evaluated, but epinephrine has been shown to decrease implantation in female rabbits dosed subcutaneously with 1.2 mg/kg/day (15-fold the highest human intramuscular or subcutaneous daily dose) during gestation days 3 to 9.
Use In Specific Populations
Teratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Epinephrine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus (fetal anoxia, spontaneous abortion, or both). Epinephrine is teratogenic in rabbits, mice and hamsters dosed during organogenesis.
Epinephrine has been shown to have teratogenic effects (including gastroschisis and embryonic lethality) when administered subcutaneous in rabbits at approximately 15 times the maximum recommended intramuscular or subcutaneous dose (on a mg/m² basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 1.2 mg/kg/day for two to three days).
In mice, teratogenic effects (including embryonic lethality) were observed at approximately 3 times the maximum recommended intramuscular or subcutaneous dose (on a mg/m² basis at maternal subcutaneous dose of 1 mg/kg/day for 10 days). These effects were not seen in mice at approximately 2 times the maximum recommended daily intramuscular or subcutaneous dose (on a mg/m² basis at a subcutaneous maternal dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day for 10 days).
In hamsters, teratogenic effects were observed at approximately 2 times the maximum recommended intramuscular or subcutaneous dose (on a mg/m² basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day for 4 days).
Labor and Delivery
Use with caution during labor and delivery. Although epinephrine improves maternal hypotension associated with anaphylaxis, it may result in uterine vasoconstriction, decreased uterine blood flow, and fetal anoxia.
It is not known whether epinephrine is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when epinephrine is administered to a nursing woman.
Clinical use data support weight-based dosing for treatment of anaphylaxis in pediatric patients, and other reported clinical experience with the use of epinephrine suggests that the adverse reactions seen in children are similar in nature and extent to those both expected and reported in adults.
The safety and effectiveness of epinephrine (at a dilution of 1:100,000 to 1:400,000) for induction and maintenance of mydriasis during intraocular surgery have been established in pediatric patients. Use of Adrenalin for induction and maintenance of mydriasis during intraocular surgery in pediatric patients is supported by adequate and well controlled studies in adults and uncontrolled studies in pediatric patients.
Clinical studies for the treatment of anaphylaxis have not been performed in subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. However, other reported clinical experience with use of epinephrine for the treatment of anaphylaxis has identified that geriatric patients may be particularly sensitive to the effects of epinephrine. Therefore, for the treatment of anaphylaxis, consider starting with a lower dose to take into account potential concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
For induction and maintenance of mydriasis during intraocular surgery, no overall differences have been observed between elderly and other patients.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Adrenalin Information
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