The Effects of Dopamine:


  • a naturally occurring catecholamine
  • has direct alpha and beta adrenergic effects depending on the dose

A medium dose is 5-10 mcg/kg/min. When this is given, dopamine acts directly on beta1 receptors, causing increased myocardial contractility and increased heart rate.

Dopamine doses greater than 10 mcg/kg/min stimulate alpha receptors. This results in  vasoconstriction, which is an increased systemic vascular resistance.

Dopamine Indications for Use:

Dopamine can be very effective in treating hypotension with signs and symptoms of shock.

Dopamine is typically used as a second line drug for symptomatic bradycardia after atropine.

Dopamine Precautions & Contraindications:

Dopamine may cause tachyarrhythmias and excessive vasoconstriction. It should be used with caution in patients who are suffering from cardiogenic shock with associated symptoms of congestive heart failure.

Hypovolemia should be corrected with volume replacement before dopamine therapy is initiated.

Adult Dosage for Dopamine:

  • Dopamine should be administered via IV
  • Most common infusion rate is 2 to 20 mcg/kg per minute
  • Slowly titrate dosage and drip rate to patient’s response