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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Potential For Ophthalmic Injury From Adrenalin® 30 mL Multiple-Dose Vial

The Adrenalin® 30 mL multiple-dose vial is not for ophthalmic use because it contains chlorobutanol which may be harmful to the corneal endothelium.

Injury With Undiluted Intraocular Solution

The Adrenalin® 1 mL single-use vial, while it does not contain chlorobutanol, 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 administer repeated injections of epinephrine at the same site, as the resulting vasoconstriction may cause tissue necrosis.

Do not inject into buttock. Injection into the buttock may not provide effective treatment of anaphylaxis and has been associated with the development of Clostridial infections (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.

Serious Infections At The Injection Site

Rare cases of serious skin and soft tissue infections, including necrotizing fasciitis and myonecrosis caused by Clostridia (gas gangrene), have been reported at the injection site following epinephrine injection for anaphylaxis. Clostridium spores can be present on the skin and introduced into the deep tissue with subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. While cleansing with alcohol may reduce presence of bacteria on the skin, alcohol cleansing does not kill Clostridium spores. To decrease the risk of Clostridium infection, do not inject Adrenalin® into the buttock [see Incorrect Locations Of Injection]. Advise patients to seek medical care if they develop signs or symptoms of infection, such as persistent redness, warmth, swelling, or tenderness, at the epinephrine injection site.

Disease Interactions

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.

Nonclinical Toxicology

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.

Nursing Mothers

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.

Pediatric Use

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.

Geriatric Use

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.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/6/2016


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