Depression of vitamin B6 levels due to dopamine

Vet Hum Toxicol. 1991 Apr;33(2):118-21.


Dopamine is a commonly used pressor agent. Frequently recognized side effects other than occasional reports of pedal gangrene respond to reduction of dose. Because a number of compounds interfere with vitamin B6 and dopamine toxicity in animals is modified by B6, we studied the dopamine-vitamin B6 interaction in rabbits. Six animals received 40 mg dopamine/kg and 10 mg pyridoxine injections; 6 received dopamine and saline. Dopamine administration led to an average fall of 20% (p = 0.04) in plasma pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) levels, which declined 42% by day 5. Three days later, a 25% decrease persisted (p = 0.03). Dopamine with pyridoxine caused a PLP rise of 65% (p = 0.007), but the post-study level was 28% lower than baseline (p = 0.04). We interpret our data to mean that dopamine reduced PLP levels during and 3 days after the study, and that dopamine appeared to increase the requirements for B6. We worry that dopamine given with other drugs, ie gentamicin, digoxin and theophylline which are frequently used in critical care settings, could aggravate alterations of requirements for or body stores of vitamin B6, creating B6 deficiency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine / adverse effects*
  • Dopamine / pharmacology
  • Drug Interactions
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / blood*
  • Pyridoxine / blood*
  • Rabbits


  • Pyridoxal Phosphate
  • Pyridoxine
  • Dopamine