Therapeutic Uses

Clinical uses of Epi are based on its actions on blood vessels, heart, and bronchial muscle. A major use is to provide rapid relief of hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, to drugs and other allergens. Epi is used to prolong the action of local anesthetics, presumably by vasoconstriction and a consequent reduction in absorption (see Chapter 14). It may restore cardiac rhythm in patients with cardiac arrest. Epi also is used as a topical hemostatic agent on bleeding surfaces such as in the mouth or in bleeding peptic ulcers during endoscopy of the stomach and duodenum. Systemic absorption of the drug can occur with dental application. In addition, inhalation of Epi may be useful in the treatment of postintubation and infectious croup. The therapeutic uses of Epi, in relation to other sympathomimetic drugs, are discussed later in this chapter.

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