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See critical care quick reference for drug doses by weight.


  • Type: Vasopressors
  • Dosage Forms:
  • Concentration
    • Amount of solution in mL used to dilute 1,000mg of epinephrine
    • eg 1:10,000 = 1,000mg/10,000mL = 0.1mg/mL
  • Common Trade Names: Adrenaline, EpiPen (IM autoinjector)

Adult Dosing


0.3-0.5mg of 1:1,000 IM

  • Consider glucagon 1-5mg IV if patient on beta-blockers and not responding to epi

Anaphylactic shock

0.1mg of 1:10,000 slow IV during 5 min, can start infusion of 1-4 mcg/min

Cardiac Arrest

1mg of 1:10,000 IVP

Quick Epi Drip

  • Take your code-cart epinephrine (it does not matter if It is 1:1,000 or 1:10,000) and inject 1mg into a liter bag of NS. Final concentration is 1mcg/ml. Run at 1cc/min and titrate to effect.

Pediatric Dosing

See critical care quick reference for drug doses by weight.



  • Dose-dependent effects:
  • 1-10 mcg/min - increase HR and SV
  • 10-20 mcg/min - increase SVR

Rate of Titration

  • Q2-5 min

Special Populations


  • Allergy to class/drug

Adverse Reactions


  • Half-life:
  • Metabolism: Hepatic
  • Excretion: Renal
  • Mechanism of action: potent α and β agonist that increases cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance

Mechanism of Action

Primary Receptor

  • β1
  • α1
  • β2

Relative Effects

  • ↑↑↑HR
  • ↑↑↑SV
  • ↑↑↑SVR
  • Bronchodilation (β2)


  • ↑lactate occurs primarily from ↑glycolysis/glycogenolysis within skeletal muscles not tissue hypoperfusion
  • Use with caution in patients with CAD
    • However clinical trials have not demonstrated worsened outcomes


  • Epi versus norepi in patients with shock found that elevated levels of lactic acidosis or tachycardia in 13% of epi patients causes [1]
  • second- line agent in sepsis that should be considered after shock is refractory to other pressors 2/2 increased number of adverse events that include tachydysrhythmias and lactate production

See Also


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18654759