Epinephrine is an injected medicine used to treat severe allergic reactions, breathing problems, and cardiac arrest.


  • Narrows the blood vessels, which raises blood pressure. This may prevent the severe low blood pressure that occurs during a severe allergic reaction.
  • Stops leakage of fluids from blood vessels into body tissues.
  • Relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract, relieving wheezing and breathing difficulty.
  • Increases the heart rate.

A severe or fatal stroke, heart irregularity, or heart attack can occur if the wrong dose of epinephrine is mistakenly injected into a blood vessel or if an overdose is given.

Current as of: February 20, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology