dobutamine (injection; Dobutrex)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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GENERIC NAME: dobutamine injection

BRAND NAMES: Dobutrex (Brand name is no longer available in the US)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Dobutamine is a synthetic drug that stimulates receptors (beta-1 receptors) on the heart. It is classified as a catecholamine. Other catecholamines include epinephrine, dopamine, and isoproterenol. Stimulating beta-1 receptors receptor causes an increase in the force of the heart's contraction, therefore increasing cardiac output which is the amount of blood pumped by the heart. Unlike other catecholamines, dobutamine has minimal effects on heart rate, which helps to decrease the chance of irregular heartbeats. Dobutamine does not have significant effects on blood pressure. The FDA approved dobutamine in July 1978.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequent adverse reactions include increased heart rate:

  • increased blood pressure,
  • irregular ventricular beats, and
  • chest pain.

Other important side effects include:

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Intravenous solution: 250, 500, 1000 mg in 250 mL, 250 mg in 20 mL, 500 mg in 40 mL

STORAGE: Vials should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Once diluted, dobutamine may be stored in the refrigerator (4 C) for 7 days or up to 48 hours at room temperature.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Dobutamine is prescribed to help increase cardiac output in a failing heart due to heart disease or cardiac surgery.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/28/2015

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