Thursday, August 29, 2013

epinephrine (adrenaline)

My favorite organic molecule is epinephrine, or “adrenaline” as many people call it. It is my favorite molecule because of how quickly it elicits a response in the body, the affects it causes, and of course, I love an adrenaline rush. I also like it because it can be used in medical emergencies like severe allergic reactions to save a life, i.e. one of the kids I am a nanny for. Epinephrine is released from the adrenal medulla. It is responsible for the “fight or flight” reaction. Epinephrine increases heart rate and blood pressure, it dilates the pupils, reduces gastrointestinal activity, along with other things.

Epinephrine is used in the medical field. It is administered as an injection that can be given a number of ways: subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intracardially or intravenously (the latter two when diluted). It is most commonly used in respiratory distress (severe bronchospasm usually do to an allergic reaction), to restore rhythm in cardiac arrest, and to inhibit uterine contractions, just to name a few.  

There are so many wonderful medical uses for epinephrine and so many ways the body uses it on its own. But the main reason epinephrine is my favorite is for the rush it gives. The feeling in your gut, your heart pounding, all of a sudden you are 150% ready to go! The rush you get from adrenaline also lessens the amount of pain you feel when you get injured in a situation where adrenaline is pumping. Yes, you still get hurt. But you wont feel it right away. That way you can keep running from the bear that is chasing you or fighting some jerk from the bar. Regardless of the exact situation you are relating epi to, it does some pretty amazing things.

the molecular formula of epi is C9H13NO3

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