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Epinephrine oradrenaline is actually the same thing. It’s the same hormone and neurotransmittermost medical stuff call simply just epi. This substance belongs to the group ofcatecholamines, hormones released from the adrenal gland in some stressfulsituation. All these catecholamine hormones are produced either from tyrosineor phenylalanine (amino acids). The group includes: epinephrine (adrenaline),norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and dopamine, as well as some drugs that areanalogs of these hormones.

EpinephrineEffects in the Body

Epinephrinehas an effect to almost all tissues and organs in the body. It binds to alladrenergic receptors (α₁, α₂ , β₁, β₂, and β₃ adrenergic receptors) and causechanges in the metabolism of the human body. When it binds to alpha adrenergic receptors,epinephrine stimulates glycogenolysis in the liver and glycolysis in the muscles(synthesis of glycogen in the liver and break down of glycogen in the muscles),and also inhibits pancreas secretion of insulin. By binding to beta adrenergicreceptors, epinephrine increases secretion of glucagon and andrenocorticotropichormone (ACTH) and lipolysis of adipose (fat) tissue. All these effects lead toincreased production of energy (glucose and fatty acids) for the cells of thebody.

If we lookat the organs responding to epinephrine, we will notice that this hormone increasesthe heart rate and respiratory rate of the lungs and stimulates glycogenolysisin the liver. In all body tissues, epinephrine can cause muscle contraction,lipolysis and constriction or dilation of the blood vessels.

As we alreadysaid, epinephrine is released from the adrenal gland after some stress, and itcan be some physical threat to the body, high temperature, noise, bright lightsor excitement. In those situations, as the body reacts to stress, sympatheticnervous system and already mentioned ACTH stimulate epinephrine synthesis.

Epinephrine isable to control its own synthesis and release. When there is too much epinephrinein the body it affects the alpha2 adrenergic receptors and decreases its ownproduction.


Epinephrine canbe used in ampule or auto injector system. It is proven very useful to treat variousmedical conditions, including heart attack and arrhythmias, anaphylacticreaction (severe allergic reaction), shock and sepsis. This substance can alsobe used to treat the croup, asthma or it can be added to local anesthetics, to prolongtheir action.

Even thoughit is used to treat adults experiencing cardiac arrest, epinephrine is notdefinitively proven to prevent neurological problems or increase survival ratein these patients.

Boxers sometimesuse epinephrine solution (1:1000) to stop the bleeding during their matches.


Patients thatused epinephrine might experience headaches, anxiety, hypertension, tremor, acutepulmonary edema and heart problems (palpitations, arrhythmias, tachycardia etc).

This drugshould not be used in patients already using non-selective beta blockers,because the combination of the drugs may cause serious hypertension and cerebralhemorrhage (brain bleeding).

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