<biochemistry> A ribonucleotide which consists of the nitrogenous base adenine linked to the sugar ribose.


A cardiac drug used in terminating PSVT involving reentry pathways that include the AV node or Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. For atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, atrial or ventricular tachycardias, adenosine may produce transient AV block that may help identify the rhythm.

Pharmacologic action: Endogenous purine nucleoside that depresses AV node and sinus node activity. Brief duration of action (1-2 min).

Dose: Rapid 6 mg IV bolus over 1-3 sec. May repeat at 12 mg IV bolus within 1-2 min Patients taking theophylline may require larger doses. Use a smaller dose with cardiac transplant patients.

Potential complications: Common but transient - flushing, dyspnoea, chest pain, bradycardia, and ventricular ectopy. Theophylline (and caffeine) blocks adenosine's effects. Dipyridamole potentiates adenosine's effects. Use other agents to avoid these drug interactions.

(15 Mar 2000)