Adrenaline vs Epinephrine: Difference and Comparison

Adrenaline and Epinephrine are two names of the same hormone. Usually, such words do not mean the same; however, this pair of words is not the case.

In most cases, you will notice that both have slightly different; Adrenaline and Epinephrine are two names of the same hormone.

Adrenaline and Epinephrine treat shock, anaphylactic allergic response, cardiac arrest etc. The two are very similar in appearance, and when injected, they raise blood pressure.

However, they have different functions in the body. This article will tell you what the difference between Adrenaline and Epinephrine is:

Key Takeaways

  1. Adrenaline is the British English term for epinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter.
  2. Both terms describe the same substance, which plays a vital role in the body’s fight-or-flight response.
  3. Adrenaline/epinephrine boosts heart rate, blood flow, and oxygen delivery to muscles during periods of stress or danger.

Adrenaline vs Epinephrine

The difference between adrenaline and Epinephrine is that adrenaline is a British-approved name; in contrast, Epinephrine is the internationally-recommended name for the hormone produced by the medulla of the adrenal gland for the same substance. Although adrenaline and Epinephrine are involved in the fight-or-flight response, they play different roles in the body, with adrenaline being released in response to a stressful, thrilling, hazardous, or scary circumstance. In contrast, Epinephrine is released in response to stress.

Adrenaline vs Epinephrine
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Adrenaline gets released when the body is attacked by a foreign substance — like when you get stung by a bee or bitten by a dog.

It’s responsible for preparing your body for battle — increasing your heart rate and tightening your muscles so that you’ll be ready to fight.

Epinephrine is the chemical name for adrenaline. It’s a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands to help the body respond to stress and deal with dangerous or harmful situations.

Epinephrine levels can increase when you’re nervous or stressed, making you feel sick, dizzy, or sweaty and causing your heart rate and blood pressure to drop.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAdrenaline Epinephrine
TypeAdrenaline is a hormone in the body.Epinephrine is a sympathomimetic drug in the body.
Another nameEpinephrine is another name for adrenaline.Norepinephrine is another name for epinephrine, and some people call it adrenaline.
ResponseAdrenaline is a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and helps control heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.The BAN(British Approved Name) has given its consent to adrenaline.
StructureAdrenaline is made of phenylalanine.Epinephrine is made of tyrosine.
ReceptorsAdrenaline has adrenergic receptors with multiple subgroups (α1, α2, β1, β2, β3), and several subtypes of the α2 subgroup (α2A, α2B, α2C).Epinephrine binds both α and β adrenergic receptors.
PropertiesAdrenaline gives you more energy because it stimulates your nervous system, increases your heart rate, and opens up your airways, allowing you to breathe more easily. Epinephrine also dilates blood vessels and stimulates the liver to produce glucose (sugar), which provides more energy.  
Founded byAdrenaline was founded by Friedrich Stolz and Henry Drysdale Dakin independently in 1904.Epinephrine was founded by Friedrich Stolz, a German chemist, in 1904.
ApprovalThe BAN(British Approved Name) has given its approval to adrenaline.Norepinephrine is another name for Epinephrine, and some people call it adrenaline.

What is Adrenaline?

When you hear the word adrenaline, you probably think of something exciting like a roller coaster ride or a life-or-death situation.

Treating heart disease with adrenaline is nothing new. It’s been used for decades to treat certain types of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions).

Adrenaline is also a standard treatment for acute heart failure — when the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs — and cardiac arrest (when the heart suddenly stops beating).

In these cases, adrenaline helps the heart keep pumping until other treatments can affect it.

Adrenaline is also sometimes used by people with congenital heart defects that cause blood to move more slowly through their bodies. In these cases, adrenaline causes blood vessels called veins to constrict, creating higher pressure in the veins near the heart and forcing more blood back into the heart. 

This treatment can slow or temporarily stop bleeding in severe cases requiring surgery. The constriction of veins also helps prevent fluid from building up in the lungs during surgery.

What is Epinephrine?

Epinephrine is a hormone that occurs naturally in the human body.

It is secreted by the adrenal gland and part of the autonomic nervous system, regulating unconscious actions such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and digestion.

A person’s body will produce small amounts of epinephEpinephrinee time. However, it is also readily available as an over-the-counter drug at most pharmacies. People use EpiPens to treat severe allergic reactions.

The drug works by binding to specific receptors in the body called alpha-1 receptors.

When this happens, certain chemicals increase in the body, which can help restore normal blood pressure and other bodily functions.

The drug also relaxes muscles in the lungs, which helps prevent respiratory failure in severe cases.

Epinephrine may also be given intravenously or through an injection into a muscle. It takes effect within minutes, although some products take up to 15 minutes.

More than likely, you or someone you love has experienced an allergic reaction before.

Foods like shellfish, nuts, and berries are common triggers for these reactions, which can cause symptoms like itching, hives, and swelling, leading to difficulty breathing and shock.

epinephrine

Main Difference Between Adrenaline and Epinephrine

1. Adrenaline is used in medicine to treat cardiac arrest and low blood pressure (hypotension), while epinephEpinephrined to combat anaphylaxis.

2. Adrenaline is a hormone that helps your body deal with stress and dangerous or harmful situations, and epinephEpinephrine helpful in a position where you need to fight or run away from something and have extra energy. Still, it can also negatively affect your body if it isn’t controlled.

3. The main difference between adrenaline and epinephEpinephrinet they are made of different amino acids. Adrenaline is made of phenylalanine and epinephEpinephrinee of tyrosine.

4. Adrenaline contains no sulfur, so it has different chemical properties than epinephEpinephrinee the other hand, the epinephrine structure contains sulfur, carbon, and hydrogen.

5. Adrenaline is a hormone released into the bloodstream during stressful or dangerous situations. Epinephrine, on the other hand, is an adrenal gland hormone with a similar chemical makeup as adrenaline but is produced by the body itself.

Difference Between Adrenaline and Epinephrine
References
  1. https://www.jci.org/articles/view/109718
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/280235a0

Last Updated : 30 June, 2023

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