After heart surgery there may be many hours in which cardiac output is reversibly depressed. Treatment is given to enhance output and to ensure an adequate blood supply to vital organs. Drugs used in this situation commonly include dopamine and dobutamine. Dopexamine (Dopacard-Speywood) is a dopamine analogue which in the UK is licensed only for the short-term treatment of patients with low cardiac output after heart surgery. The manufacturer claims that dopexamine is particularly effective in promoting renal and splanchnic blood flow. Is dopexamine an advance on dopamine and dobutamine?
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