Which medications in the drug class Sympathomimetic Agents are used in the treatment of Acute Urticaria?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Henry K Wong, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Sympathomimetic Agents

These agents cause vasoconstriction and reduction in vascular dilation, which contributes to urticaria formation.

Epinephrine (Adrenalin, Epi-Pen)

Epinephrine is DOC for the treatment of severe or generalized urticaria as part of an anaphylactic reaction. The alpha-agonist effects of this medication increase peripheral vascular resistance and reverse peripheral vasodilatation, vascular permeability, and systemic hypotension. Conversely, the beta-agonist effects of epinephrine produce bronchodilatation, cause positive inotropic and chronotropic cardiac activity, and result in an increased production of intracellular cAMP. Any patient who has had a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction should have injectable epinephrine available for use at all times (eg, portable Epi-Pen). Intramuscular administration of epinephrine is preferred over subcutaneous.

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