One of two hormones (the other being norepinephrine) secreted by the adrenal glands, as well as at some nerve endings (see neuron), where they serve as neurotransmitters. They are similar chemically and have similar actions on the body. They increase the rate and force of heart contractions, increasing blood output and raising blood pressure. Epinephrine also stimulates breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver, raising blood glucose levels, and both hormones increase the level of circulating free fatty acids. All these actions ready the body for action in times of stress or danger, times requiring increased alertness or exertion. Epinephrine is used in medical situations including cardiac arrest, asthma, and acute allergic reaction (see allergy). See also dopamine.


epinephrine or adrenaline

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