Medicine & USMLE


Cardio Drugs - Other
  1. Nitrates (Nitroglycerin, Isosorbide)
  2. Nitroglycerin Administration
  3. Digoxin Overview
  4. Digoxin Toxicity
  5. Dopamine
  6. Ranolazine
  7. Milrinone
  8. Epinephrine
  9. Norepinephrine
  10. Dobutamine
  11. Isoproterenol
  12. Atropine


Dobutamine is an adrenergic agonist that specifically activates beta-1 receptors. It causes positive inotropy, meaning it increases the contractility of the heart. Dobutamine also increases heart rate. This combination leads to an increase in cardiac output.

Dobutamine is used to treat cardiogenic shock and heart failure.

Side effects of dobutamine include tachycardia, chest pain, and arrhythmias.

Key Points

  • Dobutamine (Dobutrex)
    • Mechanism
      • Adrenergic Agonist
        • Activates Beta-1 Receptors
          • Positive inotropy (Increases heart contractility)
          • Increases heart rate
          • Increases cardiac output
            • The amount of blood pumped out of the heart every minute
    • Clinical Use
      • Treats heart failure
        • Used for short-term (acute) heart failure
        • Increases the cardiac output
      • Treats cardiogenic shock
        • Increases blood pressure through the increase of cardiac output. This increases blood flow to the body’s vital organs.
    • Side Effects
      • Causes tachycardia
        • Heart rate over 100 beats per minute
      • Causes dysrhythmias
      • Causes angina
        • Due to increased workload on the heart