What is this medication?
EPINEPHRINE (ep i NEF rin) treats severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). It may also be used to treat sudden asthma attacks. It reduces the effects of an allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing or swelling of the face, lips, and throat. Call emergency services after injection. You may need additional treatment.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Adrenaclick, Auvi-Q, Epinephrine Professional EMS, Epinephrine Professional with Safety Seal, epinephrinesnap, epinephrinesnap-v, EpiPen, Epipen Jr, EPIsnap Epinephrine, SYMJEPI, Twinject
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
- Diabetes (high blood sugar)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Parkinson disease
- Thyroid disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to epinephrine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is injected into a muscle or under the skin. You will be taught how to prepare and give it. Take it as directed on the prescription label. Do not use it more often than directed. It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or care team to get one.
This medication comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this medication. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or care team if you have questions.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply. This medication is not for regular use. It should only be used as needed.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
- General anesthetics like desflurane, isoflurane, sevoflurane
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Antihistamines for allergy, cough, and cold
- Certain medications for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
- Certain medications for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disorders
- Certain medications for Parkinson's disease, like entacapone
- Ergot alkaloids like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
- MAOIs like Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- Phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
- Steroid medications like prednisone or cortisone
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Call emergency services if you have trouble breathing.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Heart attack—pain or tightness in the chest, shoulders, arms, or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, cold or clammy skin, feeling faint or lightheaded
- Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
- Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
- Pain, redness, or irritation at injection site
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Anxiety, nervousness
- Heart palpitations—rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
- Pale skin, loss of color in lining of the eyelids, inner mouth, or nails
- Tremors or shaking
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, ask your pharmacist or care team how to get rid of this medication safely.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy