Table of Contents > Drug > Epinephrine (Systemic, Oral Inhalation) Print

Epinephrine (Systemic, Oral Inhalation)


Related terms
Author information


    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Adrenalin®;AsthmanefrinT [OTC];EpiPen 2-Pak®;EpiPen Jr 2-Pak®;Primatene® Mist [OTC] [DSC];S2® [OTC];Twinject®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Adrenalin®;Epi E-Z Pen®;EpiPen®;EpiPen® Jr;Twinject®

    • It is used to treat a very bad allergic response.
    • It is used to open the airways in lung diseases where spasm may cause breathing problems.
    • It is used to treat low blood pressure.
    • It is used when the heart is not beating.
    • Shot:
    • EpiPen®, EpiPen® Jr: It lowers or stops the body's reaction to the allergen.
    • Adrenalin®: It fires up the heart.
    • Puffer (inhaler):
    • It works to open the airways in lung diseases where spasms may cause breathing problems.


    How to take

    • EpiPen®, EpiPen® Jr:
    • Read how to use before an emergency happens.
    • Use this drug for emergencies which may include insect stings or bites, food, drug, latex allergies, and ones caused by working out.
    • Keep this drug with you at all times. You may want to keep extra ones at work, school, and home.
    • Never put your fingers or hand over the tip.
    • Do not take off safety release until ready to use.
    • Do not use if solution is not clear or if red flag is in window.
    • When you are ready to use, take the pen out of the case.
    • Hold pen with tip down.
    • Make a fist around the pen.
    • Pull off safety release.
    • Jab straight into the outer thigh until it clicks and hold for 10 seconds.
    • Take out tip and rub part where the shot was given.
    • Get help now.
    • Call the ER (emergency department). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
    • Put back in the storage case.
    • Take it with you to the hospital.
    • Adrenalin®:
    • Your doctor will give this drug.
    • Puffer (inhaler):
    • For breathing in only by a puffer (inhaler) or as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs.
    • Breathe in once. You may repeat in 1 minute if signs are not helped. Wait at least 3 hours before using again.

    Missed Dose

    • Many times this drug is taken on an as needed basis.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • EpiPen®, EpiPen® Jr:
    • Protect from light.
    • Primatene® Mist:
    • Protect from heat or open flame.
    • Adrenalin®:
    • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.



    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.


    • If you have an allergy to epinephrine or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • Puffer (inhaler):
    • If you have taken isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine in the last 14 days. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (eg, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine) must be stopped 14 days before this drug is started. Taking both at the same time could cause risky high blood pressure.


    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have thyroid disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Irritation where the shot is given.
    • Flushing.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Dry mouth. Good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. See a dentist often.
    • Nervous and excitable.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If this drug is used for an allergy emergency, go to the ER right away after using it.
    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • If you are not able to get the breathing attack under control. Get help right away.
    • A fast heartbeat.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.