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Terms Of Use


Brand Name(s) : Adrenaline (epinephrine), Emerade, EpiPen, EpiPen Jr, Jext
Side Effects


Adrenaline is essential in the treatment of anaphylaxis. However adrenaline self-administered injections should be used with caution in:

Make sure you have discussed with your doctor if any of the above applies to you

Adrenaline injections (IV and IM) should be used with caution in:

Also see list of precautions and interactions


Adrenaline is sensitive to light.
Keep in the outer carton.
Store below 25°C.
Do not refrigerate or freeze.


What is it used for?

  • Adrenaline is used to treat life-threatening emergencies.
  • It is a catecholamine, sometimes known as an adrenergic or sympathomimetic drug.
  • It is used to prevent death because of anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction) or cardiac arrest (when the heart stops beating). It has a very rapid effect on the heart, blood vessels and the lungs. Adrenaline is an active substance that is produced in the body by the adrenal gland. Administration of adrenaline mimics the effects of adrenaline produced in the body, it stimulates the heartbeat, makes the blood vessels narrower (and so raises blood pressure), and it also relaxes the lung muscles to ease breathing.
  • In general this drug is used to treat life-threatening emergencies such as severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (when the heart stops beating and/or the patient stops breathing). Adrenaline is the drug of choice for allergic emergencies. It is used for immediate self-administration in allergic emergencies. (An allergic reaction may happen because of exposure to foods such as peanuts, or an insect bite or sting, or taking certain drugs.) Adrenaline is also available in hospitals as an injection into the muscle to treat allergic emergencies, and as an injection into a vein to treat cardiac arrest or for use in resuscitation.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include saving your life in a life-threatening emergency.

Listed below are the typical uses of adrenaline.

  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Life-threatening emergencies

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list. Such conditions are listed below.

  • Continuous treatment by injection for very sick patients undergoing intensive care.


How often do I take it?

  • Intramuscular injection (injection into a muscle) of adrenaline by self administration (e.g. Jext, EpiPen)
    Take this medication by directly injecting Jext or EpiPen into the outer thigh muscle, through clothing if necessary (for emergency use only). Seek immediate medical help after use. Further injections can be given after 5 to 15 minute intervals if there is no improvement.
    For children, the medication is available at a lower dose with Jext 150 micrograms and EpiPen Junior.
  • Use this medication only as shown by your doctor in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • It may take up to 3 to 5 minutes before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Adrenaline by intramuscular injection, for administration by healthcare professionals
    This medication will be given to you as an injection into the outer thigh muscle by a doctor or nurse.
  • It may take up to 3 to 5 minutes before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Adrenaline by intravenous (IV) injection
    This medication will be given to you by a doctor or a nurse.
  • It may take up to a minute before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid accidental injection into the hands or feet as this may cause loss of blood flow to these areas. If there is an accidental injection into these areas go immediately to the nearest hospital casualty department for treatment.
  • It is not advisable to drive or operate machinery in emergency situations.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Adrenaline is for emergency use only.


Adrenaline is for emergency use only and you will either be under medical care at the time of use or will be getting medical help immediately after self administering adrenaline. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking adrenaline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other adrenergic drugs; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of: None known.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • An allergy to any of the ingredients in the medication (including sulphites). Sodium bisulphite and sodium metabisulphite can cause allergic-type reactions.
  • Heart disease and heart blood flow problems
  • Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Long-standing lung disease such as asthma or emphysema who have developed heart disease
  • Mental health problems or brain damage
  • Narrow or closed-angle glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye causing blurred vision and pain)
  • An adrenal tumour (phaeochromocytoma)
  • Low blood potassium, high blood calcium, severe kidney problems, or prostatic cancer leading to difficulties passing water, or shock (other than anaphylactic shock)
  • Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol intake is not known to affect adrenaline in emergency use.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


There is limited experience of the use of adrenaline in pregnancy. Pregnant women should not hesitate to use adrenaline for self-administration in an emergency. Discuss this with your doctor if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant. In non-life threatening situations, you should use adrenaline only if your doctor thinks you should.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Adrenaline passes into breast milk but is unlikely to be harmful to the breast-fed infant as it is poorly absorbed when taken orally.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with adrenaline:

  • Adrenergic blockers such as guanethidine for very high blood pressure, alpha blockers such as doxazosin and prazosin for high blood pressure and enlarged prostate gland
  • Beta blockers such as atenolol and propranolol for high blood pressure or heart problems
  • Digoxin or quinidine for abnormal heartbeat rhythm (arrhythmias)
  • Ergotamine for migraine
  • Medicines used to treat depression such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (e.g. moclobemide or phenelzine) and tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, dosulepin, imipramine)
  • General anaesthetics such as halothane
  • Insulin or oral hypoglycaemic medicines to treat diabetes

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


Taking too much adrenaline may cause the following: irregular heartbeat rhythm (cardiac arrhythmias) leading to further heartbeat problems and death; severely high blood pressure leading to fluid on the lungs (pulmonary oedema) and bleeding in the brain (cerebral haemorrhage).

People who have taken too much adrenaline or had an accidental injectionv should seek immediate medical help. Your blood pressure may rise sharply and it will need to be monitored.

Accidental injection into the hands or fingers may result in reduced blood supply to these areas. If there is an accidental injection into these areas, you should go immediately to the nearest hospital casualty department for treatment.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of adrenaline or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


Not applicable: for emergency use only.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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