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List of Emergency Drugs

author image Lisabetta DiVita
Lisabetta Divita is a physician whose love for writing flourished while she was exposed to all facets of the medical field during her training. Her writings are currently featured in prominent medical magazines and various online publications. She holds a doctorate in medicine, a master's in biomedicine, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Boston College.
List of Emergency Drugs
Keep a supply of emergency medications on hand for "just in case." Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Unfortunately, emergencies arise when least expected. People can suddenly suffer a heart attack or have an anaphylactic reaction (severe allergic reaction) after consuming certain foods. In some cases, emergency situations arise when poisonous snakes attack. Fortunately, emergency medications exist to manage such dire medical scenarios.


Nitroglycerin is a medication used to treat sudden onset of chest pain, also known as angina. During angina, inadequate amounts of oxygen and blood reach the heart. Death of heart tissues may occur if this is prolonged enough, which then becomes a heart attack.

The National Library of Medicine says that nitroglycerin relaxes the smooth muscle in blood vessels to allow more blood to flow to the heart. Nitroglycerin's side effects include a headache, intermittent lightheadedness, fainting and low blood pressure.

Nitroglycerin should not be taken with such phosphodiesterase medications such as sildenafil as the combination can cause blood pressure to plummet. Nitroglycerin is available as an ointment, spray or patch that must be taken as physicians indicate.


Epinephrine is used to treat potentially life-threatening allergic responses to foods, insects, late and medications, says MedlinePlus. Epinephrine is a sympathomimetic medication that relaxes airway muscles to allow for breathing and constricts blood vessels.

Epinephrine's side effects include vomiting, sweating, a headache, pale skin, weakness and nervousness. Dizziness, tremors, stomach problems, vomiting and sweating are epinephrine's other side effects. Epinephrine's serious effects include trouble breathing and a fast or irregular heartbeat, says MedlinePlus.

Epinephrine is available as an injection pen that is already filled with a set amount of epiphrine. Typically, this is rapidly injected into the thigh during an anaphylactic reaction. Manifestations of an anaphylactic reaction include difficulty breathing, hives, itching, stomach cramps and swelling up of the throat.


Antivenin is an antidote medication for the poisonous bite of the North American coral snake, according to Drugs.com. It belongs to the classification of medicines called immunizing agents.

Antivenin's side effects include hives, trouble swallowing or breathing, itching of the feet or hands, skin redness, tiredness, weakness and swelling of the face, nose or eyes. Antivenin can also cause a fever, swollen glands and joint problems, says Drugs.com. Antivenin is given as an injection and its dose depends on the medication strength and severity of the snake bite.

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