Adrenaline stimulates receptors in the nervous system to relax the smooth muscles associated with the bronchi and iris. It acts as an antagonist of histamine.


What is Adrenaline?

Adrenaline is used to treat serious allergic reactions caused by insect bites, foods, drugs or other substances (such as latex).

It can also be used to treat nasal congestion associated with hay fever, rhinitis, acute sinusitis, asthma symptoms, hives, angioneurotic edema, some forms of syncope, cardiac arrest and to relax the muscles of the uterus or inhibit contractions.


How should Adrenaline be taken? 

Adrenaline can be taken by injection (pre-filled syringes –ready to use- are also commercially available) in the form of nasal solution or aerosol solution.


Side effects associated with Adrenaline

Possible side effects of adrenaline include the following:

  • Heavy heartbeat, fast or irregular
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness, anxiety or restlessness
  • Pallor
  • Sweating
  • Uncontrollable tremors
  • Vomiting


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Adrenaline

Before taking adrenaline, it is important to inform your doctor:  

  • If you have any allergies to the active substance, its components, sulfites or other drugs
  • If you are taking any medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Be sure to mention:  antidepressants (in the case of MAO inhibitors even if you have stopped taking them two weeks prior), antihistamines, beta-blockers, diuretics, ergot derivatives, levothyroxine, and antiarrhythmics.
  • If you suffer (or have suffered) from chest pain, arrhythmia, high blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, depression or other psychiatric problems, Parkinson's disease or arthritis
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding


In general, there is no absolute contraindication to the use of adrenaline in emergency medical conditions.