Norepinephrine: Uses & Sides Effects

Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline. It works by constricting (narrowing) the blood vessels and increasing blood pressure and blood glucose (sugar) levels.

Norepinephrine is used to treat life-threatening low blood pressure (hypotension) that can occur with certain medical conditions or surgical procedures. This medication is often used during CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).

How is norepinephrine given?

Norepinephrine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a hospital or emergency setting.

Norepinephrine is usually given for as long as needed until your body responds to the medication. Some people must receive norepinephrine for several days.

Your blood pressure, breathing, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving norepinephrine.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any pain, irritation, cold feeling, or other discomfort of your skin or veins where the medicine is injected. Norepinephrine can damage the skin or tissues around the injection site if the medication accidentally leaks out of the vein.

Precautions

If possible before you receive norepinephrine, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension);
  • diabetes;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • circulation problems;
  • varicose veins;
  • overactive thyroid;
  • asthma or a sulfite allergy.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you have received norepinephrine.

It is not known whether norepinephrine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether norepinephrine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated with norepinephrine to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medication.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pain, burning, irritation, discoloration, or skin changes where the injection is given;
  • sudden numbness, weakness, or cold feeling anywhere in your body;
  • slow or uneven heart rate;
  • blue lips or fingernails, mottled skin;
  • little or no urinating;
  • trouble breathing;
  • problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • dangerously high blood pressure-severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure.

Interactions

If possible before you receive norepinephrine, tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • blood pressure medications;
  • an MAO inhibitor–isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others;
  • an antidepressant–amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, trimipramine.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.


Keyword: norepinephrine.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.