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What Factors Affect Epinephrine Dosage?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 04 July 2014
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Epinephrine dosage is largely affected by the condition it is being used to treat and the age of the patient taking the drug. For adults suffering from acute asthma, 0.1 to 0.5 milligrams (mg) is the suggested dosage, but for children the dosage is lower, dropping to 0.05 to 0.1 mg for those aged two and younger. The dosages for allergic reaction are the same as those for asthma, but for other conditions such as shock, the dosage is different. Adults should be given 2 to 10 micrograms (mcg) per minute for shock and children should be given 0.01 to 0.03 mg per kilogram (kg) of weight.

Epinephrine is an injection that can be given to patients suffering from a variety of conditions, including asthma, allergic reaction, asystole and shock. It is a form of synthetic adrenaline, and is used in emergency situations where somebody is suffering from an attack. The drug is usually diluted in a 1:1,000 or 1:10,000 solution when it is administered, and often comes in pre-packaged injection pens.

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Epinephrine dosage for asystole, which is commonly referred to as “flat-lining,” whereby the heat stops beating entirely, is 0.5 to 1 mg if administered in an intravenous (IV) tube. This dosage can be repeated every three to five minutes, and even increased to 2 to 5 mg if necessary. It is also possible to administer a smaller epinephrine dosage of between 0.3 and 0.5 mg directly into the left ventricle of the heart. For children, the dosage goes down to 0.01 to 0.03 mg for each kilogram in weight.

The recommended epinephrine dosage for asthma and allergic reaction is between 0.1 and 0.5 mg when administered subcutaneously, and this can be repeated once every 20 minutes, or at larger intervals if possible. Epinephrine can be administered for allergic reaction through an IV, between 0.1 and 0.25 mg, but this must be delivered slowly, usually over the course of around five minutes. In young infants, the subcutaneous dosage drops to 0.05 to 0.1 mg, and for children over the age of two, it can be increased to 0.15 mg. In children between six and 11 years of age, the dosage can be increased to 0.2 mg, and any children over 12 years old can receive 0.3 mg. A second dose can be given to children if the first one doesn’t have the desired effect. Alternately, an epinephrine dosage for children suffering from asthma or allergic reaction can be calculated by weight, at a ratio of 0.01 mg per kg in weight.

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