Epinephrine (aka epinephrine), like its counteracting norepinephrine, is a hormone known as the stress hormone because it is produced in the adrenal glands and released into the bloodstream. The effect of adrenaline on the organism was of particular importance to our ancestors. Because the release of adrenaline allows the body to quickly get to energy reserves to flee quickly or to fight.
Adrenaline and norepinephrine
Adrenaline is also formed during mental stress to quickly adapt the cardiovascular system and metabolism to the particular situation. The release of adrenaline causes our blood pressure and heart rate to increase while expanding the bronchi and raising blood sugar levels. Normally, the adrenaline is quickly broken down again; however, if the stress does not subside, adrenaline and norepinephrine are permanently overproduced, harming the heart and circulation.
Adrenaline: effect in medicine
Medicine has long benefited from the effects of adrenaline. An important field of application here is especially emergency medicine. Adrenaline is often used as a result of circulatory shock or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. During resuscitation, adrenaline can have a life-saving effect.
The dosage depends on the dosage form; if adrenaline is administered intravenously, it is usually diluted 1:10 with 0.9% sodium chloride solution. The dosage is higher in an endobronchial application: Here is the ratio 3:10. For example, except in resuscitation, adrenaline is used as an adjunct in local anesthesia to prolong the anesthetic effect.
Artificial adrenaline: epinephrine
In addition, adrenaline is often contained in nasal sprays because of its vasoconstrictive action. Adrenaline has a decongestant effect on the bronchi, which is why it was also used to treat bronchial asthma until a few years ago - however, these drugs were no longer approved due to a CFC law passed in 2002.
Epinephrine is often referred to as epinephrine in medications, which is why epinephrine is sometimes referred to as an adrenaline. Athletes should exercise caution when taking with adrenaline, as the performance enhancing effect may be considered as doping.
Adrenaline: side effects and interactions
Overall, the side effects of adrenaline are consistent with the effect that the stress hormone is expected to produce in an extreme situation - however, systematic use may result in serious and adverse health effects, depending on the dosage and condition of the patient. These include heart failure, circulatory disorders in the heart, heart attack to cardiac arrest.
Other side effects may include a reduction in magnesium and potassium levels or excessive blood sugar levels. Headaches, cramps, nausea and vomiting, and dizziness are among the more benign side effects. Also, the normal effect of adrenaline on the psyche can lead to an exaggeration in the form of nervous restlessness, anxiety, hallucinations and even psychosis.
Not only the side effects, but also the interactions with other drugs give reason for caution. The effects and side effects of epinephrine are particularly enhanced by the simultaneous use of tricyclic antidepressants, reserpine, MAO inhibitors, theophylline and L-thyroxine. Interactions may also occur in the context of antihypertensive drugs, antidiabetics and pharmaceuticals.
Adrenaline rush: Look for the adrenaline rush
An adrenaline rush is called the increased release of adrenaline. Above all, athletes use the adrenaline rush to achieve maximum performance. Conversely, sport is important to reduce adrenaline and thereby balance the hormone balance, because we move much less than our ancestors, the energy is not converted into sufficient kinetic energy.
Some people become addicted to this adrenaline rush, which puts them into a state of intoxication. The addiction to the kick drives them to unusual hobbies and sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving, rafting or kite surfing. At the same time, some competitive athletes are exposed to a tremendous amount of adrenaline rush, such as the ski jumpers.
Although the physical effort in ski jumping in comparison to other sports is limited, but the athletes are under high tension and sometimes afraid. Since adrenaline releases fat reserves to act quickly, a ski jumper can lose two kilos on a tournament day. The side effects also include the fact that the body is very tired and exhausted.