Which medications in the drug class Inotropic agents are used in the treatment of Tricyclic Antidepressant Toxicity in Pediatrics?

Updated: Mar 18, 2020
  • Author: Derrick Lung, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Stephen L Thornton, MD  more...
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Inotropic agents

Positive inotropic agents increase the force of contraction of the myocardium and are used to treat acute and chronic congestive heart failure. Some may also increase or decrease the heart rate (ie, positive or negative chronotropic agents), provide vasodilatation, or improve myocardial relaxation.

These agents are indicated for hypotension that is unresponsive to fluid, sodium bicarbonate, and norepinephrine therapy and is believed to be caused by myocardial depression.


Stimulates both adrenergic and dopaminergic receptors. Hemodynamic effect is dependent on the dose. Lower doses predominantly stimulate dopaminergic receptors, which, in turn, produce renal and mesenteric vasodilation. Cardiac stimulation and renal vasodilation are produced by higher doses.

After initiating therapy, increase dose by 1-4 mcg/kg/min q10-30min until optimal response is obtained. Satisfactory maintenance is obtained using doses of < 20 mcg/kg/min in more than 50% of patients.

In TCA cardiotoxicity, higher starting doses should be initiated to avoid unopposed beta effects.

Not usually effective in these patients because it partially depends on the release of endogenous norepinephrine for its action.

Dobutamine (Dobutrex)

Strong beta1-agonist producing excellent inotropy. Weak beta2-agonist that produces mild-to-moderate peripheral vasodilation.

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