Last reviewed 11/2021

Adrenaline is used:

  • in life threatening illness:
    • cardiac arrest
    • anaphylactic shock
    • life threatening acute asthma
  • in minor surgery to produce vasoconstriction


  • adrenaline MUST NOT be injected into extremities such as fingers, toes and nose

Except in life threatening illness, it is dangerous if injected intravenously - always check that the needle is not in a vein before injecting.

Adrenaline has alpha, beta-1 and beta-2 activity, and in terms of inotropism tends to work in the patients where the other therapies fail. Its action here is the result of beta-1 receptor down regulation - which means that the percentage of regulation of inotropy by beta-2 receptors is increased.