Epinephrine, also known as adrenalin or adrenaline, is a hormon, neurotransmitter and medication. Epinephrine is normally produced by both the adrenal glands and certain neurons. It plays an important role in the fight-or-flight response by increasing blood flow to muscles, output of the heart, pupil dilation, and blood sugar. It does this by binding to alpha and beta receptors. It is found in many animals and some one cell organisms. Jokichi Takamine first isolated epinephrine in 1901.
As a medication it is used to treat a number of conditions, including anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest, and superficial bleeding. Inhaled epinephrine may be used to improve the symptoms of croup. It may also be used for asthma when other treatments are not effective. It is given intravenously, by injection into a muscle, by inhalation, or by injection just under the skin. Common side effects include shakiness, anxiety, and sweating. A fast heart rate and high blood pressure may occur. Occasionally it may result in an abnormal heart rhythm. While the safety of its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is unclear, the benefits to the mother must be taken into account.