Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands situated directly above the kidneys. It is released in response to stress. It is a part of ‘fight or flight’ response system of the body.
It increases blood flow to the muscles and oxygen to the lungs by
•stimulating the heart rate
•contracting blood vessels
•dilating air passages
When adrenaline is released during a potentially dangerous situation the body gets an instant physical boost with increased strength and speed, and decreased pain perception. It also enhances awareness and increases respiration. This sudden burst of energy is often referred to as an ‘adrenaline rush’.
Adrenaline is added to injectable local anesthetics to prolong the action of the anesthetic agent by slowing its absorption. It is used as a drug to treat a number of conditions, some potentially life-threatening.
Adrenaline secretion is increased in pheochromocytoma, hypoglycemia and myocardial infarction and decreased or absent in Addison’s disease, autonomic neuropathy, adrenal gland removal, etc.