Contact Us     Maps & Directions     About Us
Find a Provider
Your Medical Home
Find a Facility
Plan Your Visit
Find a Provider
Giving
Mother Frances Hospital
Heart Hospital
Neuroscience Institute
Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Search Health Information    Catecholamines

Catecholamines

Catecholamines are hormones made chiefly by the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys. The main catecholamines are adrenaline (epinephrine), noradrenaline (norepinephrine), and dopamine.

Catecholamines increase heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle strength, and mental alertness. They also reduce the amount of blood going to the skin and increase blood flow to the major organs, such as the brain, heart, and kidneys. Catecholamines are often released into the bloodstream in response to stress or fright and prepare the body for "fight-or-flight."

Inotropic medicines, such as dobutamine, mimic the action of catecholamines in the heart and can help strengthen the heartbeat.

Last Revised: June 20, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Alan C. Dalkin, MD - Endocrinology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Ā© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.