Contains sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. The overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in asthmatic than in nonasthmatic people.
Do NOT add dopamine HCl to any alkaline diluent solution since the drug is inactivated in alkaline solution.
Patients who have been receiving MAO inhibitors prior to the administration of dopamine HCl will require substantially reduced dosage. See Drug Interactions below.
- Monitoring – Careful monitoring of the following indices is necessary during dopamine HCl infusion, as with any adrenergic agent: blood pressure, urine flow, and, when possible, cardiac output and pulmonary wedge pressure.
- Hypovolemia – Prior to treatment with dopamine HCl, hypovolemia should be fully corrected, if possible, with either whole blood or plasma as indicated. Monitoring of central venous pressure or left ventricular filling pressure may be helpful in detecting and treating hypovolemia.
- Hypoxia, Hypercapnia, Acidosis – These conditions, which may also reduce the effectiveness and/or increase the incidence of adverse effects of dopamine, must be identified and corrected prior to, or concurrently with, administration of dopamine HCl.
- Decreased Pulse Pressure – If a disproportionate increase in diastolic blood pressure and a marked decrease in pulse pressure are observed in patients receiving dopamine HCl, the rate of infusion should be decreased and the patient observed carefully for further evidence of predominant vasoconstrictor activity, unless such effect is desired.
- Ventricular Arrhythmias – If an increased number of ectopic beats are observed, the dose should be reduced if possible.
- Hypotension – At lower infusion rates, if hypotension occurs, the infusion rate should be rapidly increased until adequate blood pressure is obtained. If hypotension persists, dopamine HCl should be discontinued and a more potent vasoconstrictor agent such as norepinephrine should be administered.
- Extravasation – Dopamine HCl should be infused into a large vein whenever possible to prevent the possibility of extravasation into tissue adjacent to the infusion site. Extravasation may cause necrosis and sloughing of surrounding tissue. Large veins of the antecubital fossa are preferred to veins in the dorsum of the hand or ankle. Less suitable infusion sites should be used only if the patient's condition requires immediate attention. The physician should switch to more suitable sites as rapidly as possible. The infusion site should be continuously monitored for free flow.
- Occlusive Vascular Disease – Patients with a history of occlusive vascular disease (for example, atherosclerosis, arterial embolism, Raynaud's disease, cold injury, diabetic endarteritis, and Buerger's disease) should be closely monitored for any changes in color or temperature of the skin in the extremities. If a change in skin color or temperature occurs and is thought to be the result of compromised circulation in the extremities, the benefits of continued dopamine HCl infusion should be weighed against the risk of possible necrosis. This condition may be reversed by either decreasing the rate or discontinuing the infusion.
- Weaning – When discontinuing the infusion, it may be necessary to gradually decrease the dose of dopamine HCl while expanding blood volume with intravenous fluids, since sudden cessation may result in marked hypotension.
- Because dopamine is metabolized by monoamine oxidase (MAO), inhibition of this enzyme prolongs and potentiates the effect of dopamine. Patients who have been treated with MAO inhibitors within two to three weeks prior to the administration of dopamine HCl should receive initial doses of dopamine HCl no greater than one-tenth (1/10) of the usual dose.
- Concurrent administration of dopamine HCl and diuretic agents may produce an additive or potentiating effect on urine flow.
- Tricyclic antidepressants may potentiate the pressor response to adrenergic agents.
- Cardiac effects of dopamine are antagonized by beta-adrenergic blocking agents, such as propranolol and metoprolol. The peripheral vasoconstriction caused by high doses of dopamine HCl is antagonized by alpha-adrenergic blocking agents. Dopamine-induced renal and mesenteric vasodilation is not antagonized by either alpha- or beta-adrenergic blocking agents.
- Haloperidol appears to have strong central antidopaminergic properties. Haloperidol and haloperidol-like drugs suppress the dopaminergic renal and mesenteric vasodilation induced at low rates of dopamine infusion.
- Cyclopropane or halogenated hydrocarbon anesthetics increase cardiac autonomic irritability and may sensitize the myocardium to the action of certain intravenously administered catecholamines, such as dopamine. This interaction appears to be related both to pressor activity and to beta-adrenergic stimulating properties of these catecholamines and may produce ventricular arrhythmias and hypertension. Therefore, EXTREME CAUTION should be exercised when administering dopamine HCl to patients receiving cyclopropane or halogenated hydrocarbon anesthetics. It has been reported that results of studies in animals indicate that dopamine-induced ventricular arrhythmias during anesthesia can be reversed by propranolol.
- The concomitant use of vasopressors and some oxytocic drugs may result in severe persistent hypertension. See Labor and Delivery below.
- Administration of phenytoin to patients receiving dopamine HCl has been reported to lead to hypotension and bradycardia. It is suggested that in patients receiving dopamine HCl, alternatives to phenytoin should be used if anticonvulsant therapy is needed.
Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects: Animal studies have revealed no evidence of teratogenic effects due to dopamine. However, in one study, administration of dopamine HCl to pregnant rats resulted in a decreased survival rate of the newborn and a potential for cataract formation in the survivors. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women and it is not known if dopamine crosses the placental barrier. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if, in the judgment of the physician, the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Labor and Delivery
In obstetrics, if vasopressor drugs are used to correct hypotension or are added to a local anesthetic solution, some oxytocic drugs may cause severe persistent hypertension and may even cause rupture of a cerebral blood vessel to occur during the postpartum period.
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when dopamine HCl is administered to a nursing woman.