Drug Profile: Dopamine

Trade Name: Intropin


Adrenergic agonist, inotropic, vasopressor

Mechanism of Action:

Stimulates the alpha and beta adrenergic receptors. At moderate doses (2-10mcg/kg/min), dopamine stimulates beta1 receptors, resulting in inotropy and increased cardiac output while maintaining dopamonergic-induced vasodilatory effects. At high doses (>10 mcg/kg/min) alpha adrenergic agonism predominates, and increased peripheral vascular resistance and vasoconstriction result.


  • Hypotension
  • Decreased cardiac output associated with cardiogenic shock and septic shock
  • Hpotension after ROSC
  • Symptomatic bradycardia unresponsive to atropine.

Adverse Effects:

  • Tachycardia
  • Arrhythmias
  • Severe hypertension
  • Angina
  • Dyspnea
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting


  • Correct any hypovolemia with fluidĀ replacement before administering dopamine.


Adult- 2 to 20 mcg/kg/min IV/IO infusion. Starting dose 5mcg/kg/min; may gradually increase the infusion by 5-10 mcg/kg/min to desired effect. Cardiac dose is usually 5 - 10 mcg/kg/min; vasopressor dose is usually 10 - 20 mcg/kg/min. Little benefit gained beyond 20 mcg/kg/min.

PediĀ - Same as adult

Special Considerations:

  • Do not administer in the same line as alkaline solutions.
  • Half-life 1 minute
  • Pregnancy class C

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