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Dopamine Injection

Generic Name: dopamine (injection) (DOE pa meen)
Brand Names: Intropin

Medically reviewed on February 8, 2018

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a medication form of a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It works by improving the pumping strength of the heart and improves blood flow to the kidneys.

Dopamine injection (Intropin) is used to treat certain conditions that occur when you are in shock, which may be caused by heart attack, trauma, surgery, heart failure, kidney failure, and other serious medical conditions.

Dopamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Tell your caregivers if you have hardened arteries, circulation problems, diabetes, frostbite, Buergers disease, asthma, sulfite allergy, or a history of blood clots.

Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, especially if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 21 days.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you have received this medicine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with dopamine if you have pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).

If possible before you receive dopamine, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medicine.

How is dopamine injection given?

Dopamine is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when dopamine injection is injected.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving dopamine injection.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since dopamine injection is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving dopamine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Dopamine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to dopamine: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out (even while lying down);

  • chest pain;

  • fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;

  • shortness of breath;

  • cold feeling, numbness, or blue-colored appearance in your hands or feet; or

  • darkening or skin changes in your hands or feet.

Common dopamine side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Dopamine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Dopamine for Nonobstructive Oliguria:

Initial dose: 1 to 5 mcg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion.
Titrate to desired response. Administration at rates greater than 50 mcg per kg per minute have been used safely in serious situations.

Usual Adult Dose of Dopamine for Shock:

Initial dose: 1 to 5 mcg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion.
Titrate to desired response. Administration at rates greater than 50 mcg per kg per minute have been used safely in serious situations.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nonobstructive Oliguria:

less than 1 month: 1 to 20 mcg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion, titrated to desired response.

1 month or older: 1 to 20 mcg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion, titrated to desired response. Maximum of 50 mcg/kg/min.

The hemodynamic effects of dopamine are dose dependent:
Low dosage: 1 to 5 mcg/kg/minute, increased renal blood flow and urine output
Intermediate dosage: 5 to 15 mcg/kg/minute, increased renal blood flow, heart rate, cardiac contractility, cardiac output, and blood pressure
High dosage: greater than 15 mcg/kg/minute, alpha-adrenergic effects begin to predominate, vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure

Usual Pediatric Dose for Shock:

less than 1 month: 1 to 20 mcg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion, titrated to desired response.

1 month or older: 1 to 20 mcg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion, titrated to desired response. Maximum of 50 mcg/kg/min.

The hemodynamic effects of dopamine are dose dependent:
Low dosage: 1 to 5 mcg/kg/minute, increased renal blood flow and urine output
Intermediate dosage: 5 to 15 mcg/kg/minute, increased renal blood flow, heart rate, cardiac contractility, cardiac output, and blood pressure
High dosage: greater than 15 mcg/kg/minute, alpha-adrenergic effects begin to predominate, vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure

What other drugs will affect dopamine?

Other drugs may interact with dopamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use dopamine only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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