Dopamine Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 7/18/2022
Dopamine Side Effects Center

What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine (dopamine hydrochloride) is a catecholamine drug that acts by inotropic effect on the heart muscle (causes more intense contractions) that, in turn, can raise blood pressure. At high doses, Dopamine may help correct low blood pressure due to low systemic vascular resistance. Dopamine is used to treat hypotension (low blood pressure), low cardiac output, and reduced perfusion of body organs due to shock, trauma, and sepsis. Dopamine is available in only the generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Dopamine?

Side effects of Dopamine include:

  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Goosebumps
  • Shortness of breath

Serious side effects of Dopamine include:

  • lightheadedness,
  • chest pain,
  • fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats,
  • shortness of breath,
  • cold feeling,
  • numbness,
  • blue-colored appearance in your hands or feet, and
  • darkening or skin changes in your hands or feet
  • Heart arrhythmias that can be life-threatening
  • Kidney damage
  • Gangrene of digits at the higher doses.

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out;
  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Dosage for Dopamine

Dopamine is packaged in 200, 400 and 800 mg/5 ml vials and must be diluted before it is administered by intravenous methods, and almost always in a hospital by trained personnel or by Emergency Medical Technicians that are trained in its use. Initial doses of Dopamine are started as an intravenous drip at a rate of 5 micrograms per Kg per minute (5 mcg/Kg/min). Then the drug can be increased at a rate of about 5 – 10 mcg increments to obtain the correct dose to treat the individual patient's symptoms. If rates above 50 mcg/Kg/min are needed, renal output problems may occur; some renal effects may begin at 20 mcg/Kg/min. Dopamine is not for home use.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Dopamine?

Dopamine may interact with droperidol, epinephrine, haloperidol, midodrine, phenytoin, vasopressin, diuretics (water pills), antidepressants, beta blockers, cough or cold medicine that contains antihistamines or decongestants, ergot medicines, phenothiazines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Additional Information

Our Dopamine Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer
Dopamine Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out (even while lying down);
  • chest pain;
  • fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;
  • shortness of breath;
  • cold feeling, numbness, or blue-colored appearance in your hands or feet; or
  • darkening or skin changes in your hands or feet.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • feeling anxious;
  • nausea, vomiting; or
  • chills, goose bumps.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Dopamine (Dopamine Hydrochloride)


Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes See Slideshow
Dopamine Professional Information


The following adverse reactions have been observed, but there are not enough data to support an estimate of their frequency.

Cardiovascular System

ventricular arrhythmia (at very high doses), atrial fibrillation, ectopic beats, tachycardia, anginal pain, palpitation, cardiac conduction abnormalities, widened QRS complex, bradycardia, hypotension, hypertension, vasoconstriction

Respiratory System


Gastrointestinal System

nausea, vomiting

Metabolic/Nutritional System


Central Nervous System

headache, anxiety

Dermatological System



Gangrene of the extremities has occurred when high doses were administered for prolonged periods or in patients with occlusive vascular disease receiving low doses of dopamine HCl.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Dopamine (Dopamine Hydrochloride)


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© Dopamine Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Dopamine Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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