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Levophed Bitartrate Side Effects

Generic name: norepinephrine

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 29, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about norepinephrine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Levophed Bitartrate.

For the Consumer

Applies to norepinephrine: intravenous solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, norepinephrine (the active ingredient contained in Levophed Bitartrate) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking norepinephrine:

More common

Incidence not known

  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • confusion
  • coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
  • difficult, fast, noisy breathing
  • dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • increased sweating
  • itching of the skin
  • numbness and tingling of the face, fingers, or toes
  • pain in the arms legs, or lower back, especially in the calves or heels upon exertion
  • pale, bluish-colored, cold hands or feet
  • pale skin
  • swelling in the legs and ankles
  • weak or absent pulses in the legs

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of norepinephrine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to norepinephrine: injectable solution, intravenous solution


If plasma volumes are not corrected, hypotension may recur when this drug is discontinued, or blood pressure may be maintained at the risk of severe peripheral and visceral vasoconstriction (e.g., decreased renal perfusion) with diminution in blood flow and tissue perfusion with subsequent tissue hypoxia and lactic acidosis and possible ischemic injury. Overdoses or conventional doses in hypersensitive patients (e.g., hyperthyroid patients) can cause severe hypertension with violent headache, photophobia, stabbing retrosternal pain, pallor, intense sweating, and vomiting.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Extravasation necrosis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Ischemic injury, bradycardia, arrhythmia, blood pressure increased, hypertension, pallor, stabbing retrosternal pain[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Headache


Frequency not reported: Sweating[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Vomiting[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Photophobia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Plasma volume depletion[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anxiety[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Respiratory difficulty, dyspnea


Frequency not reported: Gangrene[Ref]

Frequently asked questions

More about Levophed Bitartrate (norepinephrine)

Patient resources

Professional resources

Other formulations

Related treatment guides


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

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

3. "Product Information. Levophed (norepinephrine)." Hospira Inc (2017):

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.