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Epinephrine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to epinephrine: injection injectable, injection solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by epinephrine. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking epinephrine:

Incidence not known:
  • Abnormal or decreased touch sensation
  • arm, back, or jaw pain
  • bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • fear or nervousness
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • paleness of the skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • restlessness
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • stroke
  • sweating
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking epinephrine, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • Agitation
  • coldness of the skin
  • coma
  • confusion
  • decreased urine output
  • depression
  • drowsiness
  • hostility
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • muscle twitching
  • pounding, slow heartbeat
  • rapid weight gain
  • rapid, deep breathing
  • seizures
  • stomach cramps
  • stupor
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to epinephrine: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol, inhalation solution, injectable kit, injectable solution, intravenous solution, subcutaneous suspension


Due to the lack of randomized, controlled clinical trials for the treatment of anaphylaxis, the true incidence of adverse reactions associated with the systemic use of this drug is difficult to determine. The most commonly reported adverse reactions include anxiety, apprehensiveness, restlessness, tremor, weakness, dizziness, sweating, palpitations, pallor, nausea and vomiting, headache, and/or respiratory difficulties.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular arrhythmias, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, limb/peripheral ischemia, palpitations, angina, arrhythmias, hypertension, vasoconstriction, ventricular ectopy, ventricular fibrillation, cold extremities, electrocardiogram changes, stress cardiomyopathy[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Headache, paresthesia, tremor, stroke, central nervous system bleeding, dizziness, cerebral hemorrhage, memory impaired, lightheadedness, psychomotor agitation, tingling, Parkinsonism aggravated, syncope, convulsions, subarachnoid hemorrhage, hemiplegia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Nervousness, excitability, anxiety, apprehension, restlessness, disorientation, panic, hallucinations, psychosis, fear, sleeplessness/insomnia, tenseness, confusion, irritability[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Extravasation, injection site pallor, coldness at injection site, hypoesthesia at injection site, injury at injection site, local ischemic necrosis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Diaphoresis, pallor, piloerection, skin blanching, skin necrosis with extravasation, necrotizing fasciitis, flushing/redness of skin and face, hyperhidrosis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hypokalemia, lactic acidosis, insulin secretion inhibited, metabolic acidosis, anorexia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Pulmonary edema, rales, respiratory difficulty, dyspnea, bronchospasm, hypoxia of mucosa[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Renal insufficiency[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects have been extremely unusual. Contact dermatitis has been associated with ocularly applied epinephrine. These reactions have typically presented with lid edema and a thick yellow discharge.


Frequency not reported: Nausea, vomiting, bowel necrosis, hypersalivation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Urinary retention, difficult micturition[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Thrombocytosis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Myonecrosis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Chest pain, weakness, gas gangrene, asthenia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Corneal endothelial damage[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Growth hormone secretion stimulated[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Epinephrine (EPINEPHrine)." Physicians Total Care, Tulsa, OK.

2. "Product Information. Auvi-Q (EPINEPHrine)." sanofi-aventis, Bridgewater, NJ.

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

4. "Product Information. EpiPen (EPINEPHrine)." Dey Laboratories, Napa, CA.

5. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

6. "Product Information. Adrenalin (EPINEPHrine)." A-S Medication Solutions, Chicago, IL.

7. "Product Information. Adrenaclick Two-Pack (EPINEPHrine)." Amedra Pharmaceuticals LLC, Middlesex, NJ.

Not all side effects for epinephrine may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.