Increased Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and Ventricular Ectopic Activity − A 10 to 20 mm increase in systolic blood pressure and an increase in heart rate of 5 to 15 beats/minute have been noted in most patients (see WARNINGS regarding exaggerated chronotropic and pressor effects). Approximately 5% of patients have had increased premature ventricular beats during infusions. These effects are dose related.
Hypotension − Precipitous decreases in blood pressure have occasionally been described in association with dobutamine therapy. Decreasing the dose or discontinuing the infusion typically results in rapid return of blood pressure to baseline values. In rare cases, however, intervention may be required and reversibility may not be immediate.
Reactions at Sites of Intravenous Infusion − Phlebitis has occasionally been reported. Local inflammatory changes have been described following inadvertent infiltration. Isolated cases of cutaneous necrosis (destruction of skin tissue) have been reported.
Miscellaneous Uncommon Effects − The following adverse effects have been reported in 1% to 3% of patients: nausea, headache, anginal pain, nonspecific chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath. Isolated cases of thrombocytopenia have been reported.
Administration of dobutamine hydrochloride, like other catecholamines, can produce a mild reduction in serum potassium concentration, rarely to hypokalemic levels (see PRECAUTIONS).
Longer-Term Safety − Infusions of up to 72 hours have revealed no adverse effects other than those seen with shorter infusions.