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Dopamine Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 28, 2021.

For the Consumer

Applies to dopamine: parenteral injection concentrate for iv infusion, parenteral injection for iv infusion


    Extravasation Risk
  • Phentolamine is the local antidote for peripheral ischemia resulting from extravasation of dopamine.115 116

  • Phentolamine should be given as soon as possible after extravasation is noted.115 116

  • Infiltrate the affected area (using a syringe with a fine hypodermic needle) liberally throughout as soon as possible with 10–15 mL of 0.9% sodium chloride injection containing 5–10 mg of phentolamine mesylate (an α-adrenergic blocking agent) to prevent sloughing and necrosis in ischemic areas.115 116

  • In children, phentolamine mesylate doses of 0.1–0.2 mg/kg (maximum: 10 mg per dose) may be infiltrated.116

  • Sympathetic blockade with phentolamine causes immediate and conspicuous local hyperemic changes if the area is infiltrated within 12 hours.115 116

Side effects include:

Dopamine may cause cardiac conduction abnormalities (e.g., ventricular arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, widened QRS complex, ectopic heartbeats), tachycardia, angina, palpitation, bradycardia, vasoconstriction, hypotension, hypertension, dyspnea, nausea, vomiting, headache, anxiety, azotemia, piloerection, and gangrene of the extremities.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dopamine: intravenous solution


Common (1% to 10%): Ectopic beats, tachycardia, anginal pain, palpitation, hypotension, vasoconstriction

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Aberrant ventricular conduction/ventricular arrhythmia, bradycardia, widened QRS complex, hypertension

Frequency not reported: Gangrene of the feet/extremities, peripheral cyanosis, fatal ventricular arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiac conduction abnormalities[Ref]

Gangrene of the feet occurred in patients with preexisting vascular disorders and/or at doses of at least 10 to 14 mcg/kg/min given for prolonged periods of time.

Ventricular arrhythmias occurred at very high doses.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dyspnea[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Gangrene

Frequency not reported: Piloerection[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Necrosis, tissue sloughing, local ischemia and vasoconstriction[Ref]

Necrosis and tissue sloughing may be caused by extravasation of this drug.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anxiety[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Azotemia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Mydriasis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypovolemia[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Intropin (dopamine)." DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, DE.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.