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Monday, August 25, 2014


Adrenaline: The Best and Worst of Drugs

John P. Higgins MD, MBA, MPHIL, is associate professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and director of exercise physiology, Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute. He's also chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital.

Action Points

  • Despite it being the first-line adrenergic drug for patients with cardiac arrest, few studies in humans have assessed epinephrine's effectiveness, and in one study, an epinephrine dose greater than 3 mg was inversely associated with survival.
  • Note that one expert recommends giving just 1 mg epinephrine to patients suffering cardiac arrest, then switching to other approved medications such as vasopressin.

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