The following reactions can occur:
Body As A Whole: Ischemic injury due to potent vasoconstrictor action and tissue hypoxia.
Nervous System: Anxiety, transient headache.
Respiratory System: Respiratory difficulty.
Skin and Appendages: Extravasation necrosis at injection site.
Prolonged administration of any potent vasopressor may result in plasma volume depletion which should be continuously corrected by appropriate fluid and electrolyte replacement therapy. If plasma volumes are not corrected, hypotension may recur when LEVOPHED (norepinephrine bitartrate) is discontinued, or blood pressure may be maintained at the risk of severe peripheral and visceral vasoconstriction (e.g., decreased renal perfusion) with diminution in blood flow and tissue perfusion with subsequent tissue hypoxia and lactic acidosis and possible ischemic injury. Gangrene of extremities has been rarely reported.
Overdoses or conventional doses in hypersensitive persons (e.g., hyperthyroid patients) cause severe hypertension with violent headache, photophobia, stabbing retrosternal pain, pallor, intense sweating, and vomiting.
Read the Levophed (norepinephrine bitartrate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
Cyclopropane and halothane anesthetics increase cardiac autonomic irritability and therefore seem to sensitize the myocardium to the action of intravenously administered epinephrine or norepinephrine. Hence, the use of LEVOPHED (norepinephrine bitartrate) during cyclopropane and halothane anesthesia is generally considered contraindicated because of the risk of producing ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. The same type of cardiac arrhythmias may result from the use of LEVOPHED (norepinephrine bitartrate) in patients with profound hypoxia or hypercarbia. LEVOPHED (norepinephrine bitartrate) should be used with extreme caution in patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) or antidepressants of the triptyline or imipramine types, because severe, prolonged hypertension may result.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/2/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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