Pharmaceutisch Weekblad

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 290–296 | Cite as

Catecholamines in critical care

The commonly used catecholamines: receptor and clinical profile, indications and dosages
  • F. W. Santman


The pharmacology, pattern of receptor activation and resulting clinical impact of the currently most widely used intravenous catecholamines are reviewed. A brief physiological description of the α,β and dopaminergic receptors is used in order to explain the clinical effects of norepinephrine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, dopamine, dobutamine and dopexamine. Each drug is discussed separately according to receptor profile, indications, dosages and current application in critical care. Tables are provided for comparison of relative strengths of these drugs regarding receptor activation, haemodynamic effects, organ perfusion and recommended dosages. The use of combinations of catecholamines to meet a variety of circulatory demands is commented upon.


Critical care Dobutamine Dopamine Dopexamine Drug administration Epinephrine Isoproterenol Norepinephrine Receptors, adrenergic Receptors, dopamine 


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Copyright information

© Royal Dutch Association for Advancement of Pharmacy 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. W. Santman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Intensive CareUniversity Hospital NijmegenHB NijmegenThe Netherlands

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