Dobutamine (Dobutrex), in contrast to dopamine, does not produce a significant proportion of its cardiac effects through the release of norepinephrine from adrenergic nerves; dobutamine acts directly on pradrenoceptors in the heart. Dobutamine exerts a greater effect on the contractile force of the heart relative to its effect on the heart rate than does dopamine. Dobutamine increases the oxygen demands on the heart to a lesser extent than does dopamine. Like dopamine, although at higher doses, it produces vasodilation of renal and mesenteric blood vessels. Dobutamine may be more useful than dopamine in the treatment of cardiogenic shock.
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