Epinephrine (adrenaline) is a hormone and acts as a neurotransmitter.




Epinephrine plays a central role in the stress reaction--the physiological response to conditions that threaten the physical integrity of the body. It is secreted by the adrenal medulla. When released into the bloodstream, epinephrine acts to increase heart rate and blood pressure, dilate the pupils, elevate the blood sugar level (by increased hydrolysis of glycogen to glucose), and redistribute blood flow away from the skin and inner organs.

Epinephrine acts by increasing the levels of cyclic AMP leading to bronchodilation and stimulation of the heart and central nervous system. The drug is often administered through oral inhalation to prevent wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Epinephrine is more potent than many of the over-the-counter drugs used for asthma and bronchitis.

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