Slow intravenous infusion of therapeutic doses of isoproterenol in humans produces a marked decrease in total peripheral resistance, owing to the predominance of vasodilation in skeletal muscle vascular beds. As a consequence, diastolic and mean blood pressures fall (Fig. 10.4).The depressor action of isoproterenol is more pronounced than that of epinephrine because isopro-terenol causes no vasoconstriction, whereas epinephrine does in some vascular beds. Systolic blood pressure may remain unchanged or may increase. When an increase in systolic blood pressure is seen, it is due to the marked increase in cardiac output produced by isoproterenol.

Isoproterenol usually increases the heart rate and stroke volume more than does epinephrine. This is partly due to its ability to decrease mean blood pressure, which then reflexively diminishes vagal activity, and partly to its action on the heart.

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