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Drug Class Adrenergic Agonist

General Uses Treatment of Anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock, Bronchospasms
Cardiogenic shock, cardiac arrest, allergic reactions, hypotension
General Effects On The Body Dilate pupils, dilate bronchioles, increase heart rate, constrict
(Stimulate SNS) blood vessels (increased BP), reduced gastrointestinal function,
bladder relaxation (urinary retention), relaxes uterus
Drug Examples
Drug Name
Generic Trade Special Notes
Epinephrine Adrenalin nonselective, Contraindicated in glaucoma, can cause tissue
sloughing at IV site, use regitine for IV site infiltration or
Norepinephrine Levophed Similar to epinephrine, used for shock and acute hypotension,
Contraindicated in hypotension with hypovolemia, monitor
peripheral blood flow, can cause tissue necrosis
Phenylephrine Neo- Synthetic, Selective alpha 1 adrenergic, used as vasoconstrictor
Synephrine and nasal decongestant
Dopamine Intropin Potent vasoactive agent used for treatment of shock states, low
cardiac output, and hypotension. Requires close monitoring.
Dobutamine Dobutrex Synthetic, selective Beta1 agonist used as short-term
management of depressed cardiac contractility. Contraindicated
in patients with hypovolemia and can increase AV conduction
Clonidine Catapres Selective alpha1 agonist used as antihypertensive and central
analgesic. Sometimes used as treatment for smoking cessation,
Duraclon alcohol dependency, and ADHD. Taper dosage to stop meds.
Side Effects flushing, decreased renal perfusion, anxiety, nausea and
Adverse Effects Cardiac dysrhythmias, Hypotension, tachycardia, Dyspnea, renal
What Should You Assess 1. Allergies
Before Giving Medication in 2. Baseline vital signs
This Drug Class? (List by 3. Heart and respiratory function
priority) 4. Administration site

General contraindications: mostly pregnancy category c,

tachy-dysrhythmias, hypertension

What Should You Monitor 1. Therapeutic effect

After Giving Medication In 2. Respiratory function
This Drug Class? (list by 3. Heart function

General Patient Teaching Use/indication for the drug in that specific patient, Do not use
OTC, limit stimulant use (caffeine), report visual disturbances
and dyspnea (immediately). Pain at IV site to be reported