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Generic name: fenoldopam [ fen-OL-doe-pam ]
Brand name: Corlopam
Dosage form: intravenous solution (10 mg/mL)
Drug class: Agents for hypertensive emergencies

Medically reviewed by on Sep 6, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is fenoldopam?

Fenoldopam is used to quickly lower blood pressure for a short period of time.

fenoldopam is usually given in an emergency situation, until you can be given other medicines to control your blood pressure.

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


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

Before taking this medicine

If possible before you receive fenoldopam, tell your caregivers if you have ever had:

  • glaucoma;

  • low levels of potassium in your blood; or

  • asthma or a sulfite allergy.

It is not known whether fenoldopam will harm an unborn baby. However, having high blood pressure during pregnancy may cause complications such as diabetes or eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical problems in both mother and baby). The benefit of treating hypertension may outweigh any risks to the baby.

You should not breastfeed while you are receiving fenoldopam.

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you received fenoldopam.

How is fenoldopam given?

Fenoldopam is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Fenoldopam is usually given only until your blood pressure is normal again.

Once your blood pressure has become stable, you may be given other medicine to help keep your blood pressure from getting too high. Keep using your blood pressure medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.

After you are treated with fenoldopam, your blood pressure may need to be checked often. Follow your doctor's instructions about how to keep your blood pressure from getting too high.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive fenoldopam as a continuous infusion in an emergency setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since fenoldopam is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur. Tell your caregivers if you feel very light-headed during the fenoldopam infusion.

What should I avoid while receiving fenoldopam?

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

Fenoldopam side effects

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

Fenoldopam may cause you to have fast heartbeats, or a light-headed feeling (like you might pass out).

After treatment, call your doctor at once if you have:

  • vision changes, severe headache;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • shortness of breath;

  • pounding in your neck or ears; or

  • low potassium level--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Common side effects of fenoldopam may include:

  • feeling light-headed;

  • headache;

  • nausea; or

  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

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.

Fenoldopam dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertensive Emergency:

0.01 to 0.3 mcg/kg/min IV as a continuous infusion; may increase by 0.05 to 0.1 mcg/kg/min every 15 minutes or longer until target blood pressure is reached.

Maximum dose: 1.6 mcg/kg/min

Duration of therapy: Maintenance infusions may be continued for up to 48 hours.

-Doses lower than 0.1 mcg/kg/min and slow up-titration have been associated with less reflex tachycardia.
-Oral antihypertensives can be added any time after blood pressure is stable during infusion of this drug.

Use: In-hospital, short-term management of severe hypertension when rapid, but quickly reversible, emergency reduction of blood pressure is clinically indicated, including malignant hypertension with deteriorating end-organ function.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hypertensive Emergency:

Less than 1 month (at least 2 kg or full term) to 12 years:
0.2 mcg/kg/min IV as a continuous infusion; may increase by 0.3 to 0.5 mcg/kg/min every 20 to 30 minutes to maximum dose

Maximum dose: 0.8 mcg/kg/min

Duration of therapy: Maintenance infusions may be continued for up to 4 hours.

Comments: In general, doses greater than 0.8 mcg/kg/min produced no further decreases in mean arterial pressure (MAP) but did worsen tachycardia.

Use: In-hospital, short-term reduction in blood pressure.

What other drugs will affect fenoldopam?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect fenoldopam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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

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