Epinephrine and norepinephrine belong come a group of compounds referred to as catecholamines, and they act together both neurotransmitters and also hormones. While this compounds have comparable chemical structures, they produce different impacts on the body.

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Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline, if some world refer come norepinephrine as noradrenaline. Both of this substances beat a role in the regulation of the sympathetic nervous system, i beg your pardon is the component of the autonomic nervous mechanism that is responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” response.

In this article, we comment on the similarities and also differences between epinephrine and also norepinephrine, in addition to their functions. We also cover their medical uses and the health impacts of having too lot or too tiny of either link in the body.

What are epinephrine and norepinephrine?

Share on PinterestEpinephrine and norepinephrine both pat a role in the body’s “fight-or-flight” response.
Epinephrine and also norepinephrine are both hormones and also neurotransmitters.

Hormones are chemical messengers the travel through the bloodstream. The endocrine glands and reproductive guts make and secrete a wide selection of hormone to regulate the body’s organs, tissues, and also cells.

Neurotransmitters are likewise a type of chemistry messenger, but they only take place in nerve cells and travel across synapses, which space junctions where two nerve yarn meet. Nerves cells create neurotransmitters in an answer to electrical impulses.

The adrenal medulla, the inner section of the adrenal gland, regulates and secretes both epinephrine and norepinephrine in solution to stress and also other discrepancies in the body, such together low blood pressure.

Epinephrine activates both alpha- and beta-adrenoreceptors in cells, vice versa, norepinephrine largely stimulates alpha-adrenoreceptors.

We talk about the main features of epinephrine and norepinephrine below:


When the mind perceives danger, the amygdala root cause the hypothalamus to activate the autonomic nervous system.

Signals indigenous the autonomic nervous mechanism stimulate the adrenal gland to begin pumping epinephrine right into the bloodstream. World often describe this surging of epinephrine together an adrenaline sirloin or the fight or flight response.

Epinephrine influence the heart, lungs, muscles, and also blood vessels. That release into the bloodstream brings around several physiological changes, together as:

increased heart rate and blood flowfaster breathingraised blood sugar levelsincreased strength and physical performance


The adrenal medulla to produce norepinephrine in an answer to short blood pressure and also stress. Norepinephrine promotes vasoconstriction, which is a narrowing the the blood vessels, and also this boosts blood pressure.

Like epinephrine, norepinephrine likewise increases the love rate and also blood sugar levels.

Chronic stress, negative nutrition, part medications, and particular health problems can affect the body’s ability to develop or respond come epinephrine and also norepinephrine.

A rare problem called hereditary dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency stays clear of the body from convert dopamine right into norepinephrine.

According come a 2018 article, hereditary dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency outcomes from a mutation in the norepinephrine transporter gene g237c. The authors concluded that this condition might decrease sympathetic nerve task and boost the threat of damages to the heart and also blood vessels.

Low levels of epinephrine and also norepinephrine can result in physical and mental symptoms, together as:

changes in blood pressurechanges in heart rateproblems sleeping

In addition, norepinephrine plays a role in focus and also promotes durations of continual attention. Short levels that norepinephrine may contribute to the breakthrough of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The adhering to medications have the right to increase levels of norepinephrine:

Certain medical conditions, such as tumors, chronic stress, and also obesity, can affect the adrenal glands and also cause excess production of epinephrine and also norepinephrine.

Symptoms the high levels of epinephrine or norepinephrine can include:

rapid or irregular heartbeatjitteriness or shakinessintense headachespale or cold skin

A 2018 research document states that having actually high levels of norepinephrine deserve to increase a person’s hazard of cardiovascular and kidney damage.

An epinephrine overdose can happen in world who usage epinephrine injections come treat certain medical conditions. One overdose the injected epinephrine deserve to lead to dangerously high blood pressure, stroke, or also death.

Synthetic forms of epinephrine and also norepinephrine have several medical uses, which we comment on below:


Doctors prescribe epinephrine come treat severe medical conditions that impact the heart and also airways, such together anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that have the right to interfere v a person’s capacity to breathe, and it needs emergency medical treatment. Epinephrine counters anaphylactic shock by narrowing the blood vessels, relaxing the muscles, and opening increase the airways.

It is common for world at threat of anaphylaxis to carry an epinephrine autoinjector through them at all times.

Doctors also use epinephrine to treat severe asthma attacks, cardiac arrest, and also serious infections.


Norepinephrine can assist raise systolic blood push in people who have had actually a love attack.

Doctors additionally use norepinephrine come treat:

septic shockneurogenic shockpericardial tamponade

Epinephrine and norepinephrine are comparable chemicals that act together both neurotransmitters and also hormones in the body. Both substances play vital role in the body fight or trip response, and their release into the bloodstream reasons increased blood pressure, heart rate, and blood street levels.

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Epinephrine acts on the alpha- and also beta-adrenoreceptors in the muscles, lungs, heart, and also blood vessels. Norepinephrine is a metabolite the dopamine the primarily acts upon the alpha-adrenoreceptors in the blood vessels.