Drugs That Increase the Strength of the Heart (Inotropes)


Dobutamine - Dobutamine improves the strength of the heart in circulatory shock and in patients with heart failure.

Dopamine - Dopamine increases blood pressure, increases the strength of the heart and increases heart rate. It is often used in patients with shock conditions.

Milrinone - Milrinone increases the strength of the heart. It is used in the short-term treatment of congestive heart failure.

What is an inotrope drug?

These drugs make the heart beat stronger. They are very powerful and are used only with careful attention.

Why is it given?

The doctor determines that the patient's heart is weakened. These drugs improve the strength of the heart and help it pump more blood.

How long is it used?

Sometimes patients only need to take this type of drug for a short time (days). Under different circumstances, it may be prescribed for the rest of the patient's life. This is particularly true for drugs such as digoxin.

Does it have side effects?

Side effects do occur. Some are minor and some are potentially serious. Several of these drugs (dobutamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine) may make the heart beat faster and occasionally irregularly. Digoxin may cause headache, nausea and eyesight changes.