Apr 29, 2015
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Other Health Professions Student
Epinephrine is considered a catecholamine because it is an endogenous chemical. At the same time, epinephrine is considered a sympathomimetic. However, my confusion is caused when sources state that sympathomimetics are chemicals that are not found naturally in the body. Epi is found naturally in the body, therefore (by this logic) cannot be considered a sympathomimetic. Is there a contradiction here or am I missing something?

Could it be that synthetic epi used in medication administration is considered a sympathomimetic and endogenous epi a catacholamine? Regardless, this appears very confusing.
 

zelman

7+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2009
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Pharmacist
"Sympathomimetic" means something that mimics sympathetic nervous system activation. The Epinephrine in an EpiPen isn't found naturally in your body. The Epinephrine in your adrenal glands is. They're the same chemical, but only one is released by the SNS. The other mimics that.

Also, a catecholamine (CA) is a monoamine, an organic compound that has a catechol (benzene with two hydroxyl side groups) and a side-chain amine. It describes a chemical structure and has nothing to do with origin.
 
OP
X
Apr 29, 2015
7
1
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Great! I noticed a few subtle differences between my previous understanding of the SNS and your response. That clears up my confusion. Thanks for the response!