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Adrenalin

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/21/2017
Adrenalin Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 8/21/2017

Adrenalin (epinephrine) is a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. These effects can reverse severe low blood pressure, wheezing, severe skin itching, hives, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction. An injection of adrenalin is used to treat severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to insect stings or bites, foods, drugs, and other allergens. Side effects of Adrenalin include:

  • anxiety,
  • nervousness,
  • headache,
  • fear,
  • palpitations,
  • sweating,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • pale skin,
  • shortness of breath,
  • dizziness,
  • weakness, or
  • tremors.

Before using Adrenalin a second time, tell your doctor if your first injection caused serious side effects such as increased breathing difficulty, or dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Adrenalin is available in many different injectable forms including auto-injector systems that can be carried by those who are prone to serious allergic reactions. The dose for adults and children 30 kg (66 lbs) or more is 0.3 to 0.5 mg (0.3 mL to 0.5 mL) of undiluted Adrenalin administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously in the anterolateral aspect of the thigh, up to a maximum of 0.5 mg (0.5 mL) per injection, repeated every 5 to 10 minutes as necessary. Adrenalin may interact with digoxin, diuretics (water pills), levothyroxine, chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine (antihistamines commonly contained in cold, allergy, or over-the-counter sleep medications), antidepressants, beta-blockers, ergot medicines, heart rhythm medications, or MAO inhibitors. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using Adrenalin. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Adrenalin Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Adrenalin Consumer Information

Before using epinephrine a second time, call your doctor if your first injection caused a serious side effect such as increased breathing difficulty, or dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • sweating;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • pale skin;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • dizziness;
  • weakness or tremors;
  • headache; or
  • feeling nervous or anxious.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Adrenalin (Epinephrine)

Adrenalin Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Adverse Reactions Associated With Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Use (For Anaphylaxis)

Common adverse reactions to systemically administered epinephrine include anxiety, apprehensiveness, restlessness, tremor, weakness, dizziness, sweating, palpitations, pallor, nausea and vomiting, headache, and respiratory difficulties. These symptoms occur in some persons receiving therapeutic doses of epinephrine, but are more likely to occur in patients with heart disease, hypertension, or hyperthyroidism [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Due to the lack of randomized, controlled clinical trials of epinephrine for the treatment of anaphylaxis, the true incidence of adverse reactions associated with the systemic use of epinephrine is difficult to determine. Adverse reactions reported in observational trials, case reports, and studies are listed below by body system:

Cardiovascular:angina, arrhythmias, hypertension, pallor, palpitations, tachyarrhythmia, tachycardia, vasoconstriction, and ventricular ectopy.

Angina may occur in patients with coronary artery disease [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Arrhythmias, including fatal ventricular fibrillation, have occurred, particularly in patients with underlying organic heart disease or patients receiving drugs that sensitize the heart to arrhythmias [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Rapid rises in blood pressure associated with epinephrine use have produced cerebral hemorrhage, particularly in elderly patients with cardiovascular disease [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Respiratory: respiratory difficulties.

Neurological: dizziness, disorientation, excitability, headache, impaired memory, lightheadedness, nervousness, panic, psychomotor agitation, sleepiness, tingling, tremor, and weakness.

Psychiatric: anxiety, apprehensiveness, restlessness.

Gastrointestinal: nausea, vomiting.

Other: Patients with Parkinson’s disease may experience psychomotor agitation or a temporary worsening of symptoms [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Diabetic patients may experience transient increases in blood sugar [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Accidental injection into the digits, hands or feet may result in loss of blood flow to the affected area [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Adverse events experienced as a result of an injection into these areas include increased heart rate, local reactions including injection site pallor, coldness, hypoesthesia, and tissue loss, or injury at the injection site resulting in bruising, bleeding, discoloration, erythema, and skeletal injury.

Injection into the buttock has resulted in cases of gas gangrene [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Rare cases of serious skin and soft tissue infections, including necrotizing fasciitis and myonecrosis caused by Clostridia (gas gangrene), have been reported following epinephrine injection in the thigh [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Skin: sweating.

Adverse Reactions Associated With Intraocular Use (For Mydriasis)

Epinephrine containing sodium bisulfite has been associated with corneal endothelial damage when used in the eye at undiluted concentrations (1 mg/mL).

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. at 1-800-828-9393 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Adrenalin (Epinephrine)

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© Adrenalin Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Adrenalin Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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