Active Ingredient History
Epinephrine is a sympathomimetic catecholamine. It acts as a naturally occurring agonist at both alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors. Three pharmacologic types have been identified: alpha 1-, alpha 2-, and beta-adrenergic receptors. Each of these has three subtypes, characterized by both structural and functional differences. The alpha 2 and beta receptors are coupled negatively and positively, respectively, to adenylyl cyclase via Gi or Gs regulatory proteins, and the alpha 1 receptors modulate phospholipase C via the Go protein. Subtype expression is regulated at the level of the gene, the mRNA, and the protein through various transcriptional and postsynthetic mechanisms. Through its action on alpha-adrenergic receptors, epinephrine lessens the vasodilation and increased vascular permeability that occurs during anaphylaxis, which can lead to loss of intravascular fluid volume and hypotension. Through its action on beta-adrenergic receptors, epinephrine causes bronchial smooth muscle relaxation and helps alleviate bronchospasm, wheezing and dyspnea that may occur during anaphylaxis. Epinephrine also alleviates pruritus, urticaria, and angioedema and may relieve gastrointestinal and genitourinary symptoms associated with anaphylaxis because of its relaxer effects on the smooth muscle of the stomach, intestine, uterus and urinary bladder. Epinephrine increases glycogenolysis, reduces glucose up take by tissues, and inhibits insulin release in the pancreas, resulting in hyperglycemia and increased blood lactic acid. NCATS
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