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Dobutamine is used in the treatment of heart failure

How it works

Dobutamine belongs to a group of medicines called ionotropic agents that stimulate the beta-1 receptors in the heart. It strengthens the heart muscles, increases blood flow to the heart and improves the pumping of the heart.

Common side effects

Headache, Injection site pain, Shortness of breath, Increased heart rate, Increased blood pressure, Chest pain, Palpitations, Increased white blood cell count (eosinophils), Nausea

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Expert advice

  • Do not drive or operate machinery while on dobutamine treatment.
  • Seek medical advice for correction of hypovolemia with suitable volume expanders before treatment with dobutamine hydrochloride.
  • You may be monitored for ECG and blood pressure continuously during the therapy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is dobutamine a pressor/ vasopressor?
Yes, dobutamine is a vasopressor (agent that causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels)

Q. Is dobutamine a beta blocker?
No, dobutamine is a beta agonist, not a beta blocker

Q. Is dobutamine an inotrope/ positive inotrope?
Yes, dobutamine is an inotrope

Q. Is dobutamine a catecholamine?
Yes, dobutamine is a catecholamin

Q. Is dobutamine a vasodilator?
Dobutamine has got both vasoconstrictor and vasodilator properties. The net effect depends on the tone of blood vessels and the disease condition

Q. Is dobutamine a vesicant?
Yes, dobutamine is a vesicant (it may cause tissue blistering if it leaks out of the vein)

Q. Is dobutamine the same as dopamine?
Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter present in the body; both dopamine and dobutamine are inotropic and stimulate the beta-1 receptors of the heart

Q. Does dobutamine increase heart rate/ tachycardia?
Yes, increase in heart rate also known as tachycardia is a common side effect of dobutamine

Q. Does dobutamine decrease afterload/ preload?
No, dobutamine does not have effects on afterload or preload

Q. Does dobutamine increased stroke volume?
Yes, dobutamine is known to increase stoke volume

Q. Does dobutamine cause an increase/decrease in blood pressure?
Yes, dobutamine may cause fluctuations in blood pressure

Q. Does dobutamine increase urine output?
Yes, dobutamine is known to cause an increase in urine output.

Content on this page was last updated on 20 January, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)