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Changes to adrenaline and noradrenaline labels

1 May 2020

Changes to medicine labels and information leaflets

Medicines containing adrenaline and noradrenaline will include the international names epinephrine and norepinephrine on labels and in information leaflets.

For example, medicines containing adrenaline will be labelled as 'adrenaline (epinephrine)'.

Image showing an example of packaging and labelling of Adrenaline products

Differences in ingredient names can cause confusion

In different countries, different names are used to describe the same ingredient used in a medicine.

These differences in ingredient names can cause confusion for Australians travelling overseas, visitors to Australia and health professionals trained internationally. Including the international names for adrenaline and noradrenaline on labels can help reduce confusion for health professionals and consumers.

In Australia, TGA regulates what ingredient name is used on medicine labels, in product information documents and Consumer Medicine Information leaflets.

The transition period for medicine companies to implement these changes ended on 30 April 2020, however medicines with old labels may still be available on shelves and in warehouses as stock is gradually used up.

Adrenaline

Adrenaline is an ingredient used in the management of emergency and potentially life threatening situations.

Adrenaline can be used:

  • in autoinjector pens for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis
  • in the management of cardiac arrest
  • in combination with other ingredients to prevent or relieve pain or cause a loss of feeling before and during surgical procedures.

Some adrenaline products (such as autoinjectors) are designed to be used by anyone in an emergency, including people who are not medically trained.

In some countries, adrenaline is known as epinephrine.

Noradrenaline

Noradrenaline is an ingredient used in emergency situations. Noradrenaline can be given in situations where a serious condition, such as a heart attack, has caused a dramatic drop in blood pressure.

Noradrenaline is only available with a doctor’s prescription and is administered only by a health professional.

In some countries noradrenaline is known as norepinephrine.