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ep-eh-NEF-rin - Pronunciation guide

Brand Names

  • Epinephrine
  • Epinephrine 1:1000
  • Epinephrine Injection USP
  • EpinJect


Rx symbolEpinephrine is a hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla and released into the bloodstream in response to physical or mental stress. It initiates bodily responses, including stimulation of the heart rate, increase in blood pressure, increase in metabolic rate, and increase in blood glucose concentration. Medicinally, it is a crystalline compound isolated from adrenal glands and synthesized for use as a heart stimulant, vasoconstrictor, bronchial relaxant, and is also used in cases of glaucoma.


Epinephrine is used in emergencies to treat very serious allergic reactions, or anaphylactic shock reactions to insect stings/bites, foods, drugs, or other substances. When an animal is known to have anaphylactic reactions, a veterinarian will often prescribe a supply of epinephrine to be kept on hand for use in emergencies.

Epinephrine is used in foal resuscitation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation of newborn foals.

Epinephrine is also added to local anesthetics to retard systemic absorption and prolong effect.

As an ophthalmic/adrenergic agonist, it is used for meiosis refractory and atropine treatment, and in the treatment of glaucoma.

Dosage and Administration

Prescription medicationEpinephrine
Method Dosage
(click row for calculator)
Concentration Period Duration
Intramuscular or Subcutaneous injection 1-2 ml 1 1:1000 solution Treatment NA
Intramuscular or Subcutaneous injection 1 ml/100lb 2 1:1000 solution Treatment NA
Intravenous injection 0.1 ml/kg 3 1:1000 solution Treatment NA


  • Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
  • Extra-label use of drugs in treating animals is allowable only by licensed veterinarians within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and does not include drug use in treating animals by the layman (except under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian).
  • 1For treatment of mild anaphylactic shock
  • 2For treatment of severe or life-threatening anaphylactic shock
  • 3For foal resuscitation. Preferred to dilute epinephrine with saline.
  • Intravenous injection is not recommended, but if it is found to be clinically necessary, 1/4 to 1/2 of the intramuscular dose should be used.
  • Calculator is for educational purposes only. Follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding use of this, or any medication.

Side Effects

Rapid heart rate, nervousness, sweating, shakiness, and respiratory rate increase are common side effects.


Epinephrine should be prescribed and administered by a veterinarian. Keep horse out of sunlight--preferably in a dark area.


Caution should be used when a horse is on beta blockers, dioxin, chlorpromazine, or diuretics, such as furosemide.


Overdose will result in heightened side effects mentioned above.



Epinephrine InjectionEpinephrine Injection



About the Author

EquiMed Staff

EquiMed staff writers team up to provide articles that require periodic updates based on evolving methods of equine healthcare. Compendia articles, core healthcare topics and more are written and updated as a group effort. Our review process includes an important veterinarian review, helping to assure the content is consistent with the latest understanding from a medical professional.