What is the role of phenylephrine in the treatment of sepsis/septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Phenylephrine is a selective alpha1 -adrenergic receptor agonist that is used primarily in anesthesia to increase blood pressure. Although the data are limited, studies have found phenylephrine to increase MAP in patients who were septic and hypotensive with increased oxygen consumption. However, concern remains about this agent’s potential to reduce cardiac output and lower heart rate in patients with sepsis. Phenylephrine may be a good choice when tachyarrhythmias limit therapy with other agents.


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