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Difference Between Adrenaline and Epinephrine

Adrenaline Vs Epinephrine

People from many parts across the world have heard about adrenaline and epinephrine. A certain region may know more about adrenaline while the other may know a lot about epinephrine. Because of this, certain confusion arises when people of different nationalities talk about both. The truth is the two are just the same thing, no matter how hard these people argue about it.

Epinephrine is the more scientifically accepted name for adrenaline. It is a hormone and, at the same time, a neurotransmitter. The key role of this hormone is on the short-term stress response. These are the events, situations and conditions that intimidate the normal integrity of the system (body). This hormone is released by a unique structure fairly sitting on top of each kidney ‘“ the adrenal glands. But epinephrine is secreted more specifically from the adrenal medulla.

Once released in the systemic circulation, this hormone creates varied effects by targeting strategic receptors scattered in many parts within the body. For example, by targeting the receptors located near or at the heart, it boosts the heart rate and strengthens the contractions of the heart muscles. This will ensure a good supply of blood to the body cells. The liver cells are also affected because it will be tasked to synthesize more energy with the metabolism of glucose and to break down more glycogen stores which will be converted into usable sugars. Because of the increased sugars in the blood stream, overall blood glucose levels will rise. There’s also a sort of blood vessel constriction which limits the peripheral (outer) distribution of blood. As a result, more blood will flow to the more critical areas such as the internal organs.

Therapeutically, there’s an epinephrine drug that’s used to counter a heart attack (cardiac arrest). For asthmatic patients, the same will be used to dilate the bronchus for more air to pass through. There should also be a cautious use of this drug for it may lead to some adverse reactions like tachycardia (abnormally fast heart rate), anxiety, muscle tremors, high blood pressure and even pulmonary edema.

1. Epinephrine is the official name for the hormone that is adrenaline. It is a more common term in the U.S. but the latter (adrenaline) is more accepted in other areas around the globe.

2. Epinephrine is the INN (International Non-Proprietary Name) while adrenaline is the BAN (British Approved Name). The latter is more popular to the most number of people worldwide.


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3 Comments

  1. Good to know. Wish this site authors would include references.

  2. this is a very helpful article, thanks a lot.

  3. should tell this to the writer of the film “The Mechanic”…

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