You may have most probably heard about an epinephrine pen under it’s non-technical name known as adrenaline. When people ride a roller coaster or are giving a presentation they feel their heart beat a little faster than usual and their breathing increase. That’s adrenaline at work, a substance which the human body naturally releases when in stress. The medicine inside an Epinephrine pen happens to be a synthetic version of adrenaline.
Difference between Epinephrine Pen and Adrenaline
There is almost no major/significant difference between an epinephrine pen and adrenaline. They are almost identical. In fact, in Europe, the term “adrenaline” is more common and widely used when compared to United States where the term “epinephrine” is most commonly used.
Working with epinephrine during a life-threatening situation
During life-threatening situations such as anaphylaxis (sever allergic reactions), epinephrine constricts blood vessels to increase blood pressure, relaxes/smooths muscles in the lungs in order to improve breathing and reduce wheezing. It also stimulates the heart and works to reduce hives and swelling which may have occurred around the lips and face. As stated by national food allergy guidelines, epinephrine is the only recommended first-line treatment for anaphylaxis.
Indication for epinephrine
An epinephrine auto-injector is a shot or an emergency injection of epinephrine. It is a device most commonly and often used for life-threatening allergic reactions such as breathing problems, severe swelling, or loss of blood pressure. The most common auto-injector is called the EpiPen. Allergic reactions can be caused by stinging and biting of insects, medicinal allergies, food, toxins, and other unknown substances.
One someone comes in contact with one of the above substances and begins to present with signs of swelling around the face and mouth, difficulty breathing, and/or other adverse reactions, an EpiPen should be used. If you have not received training through a First Aid class, the EpiPen should have instructions with illustrations on the side of the pen.
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