Effects of long-term therapy with oral ibopamine on resting hemodynamics and exercise capacity in patients with heart failure: relationship to the generation of N-methyldopamine and to plasma norepinephrine levels

Circulation. 1986 Apr;73(4):740-8. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.73.4.740.


N-Methyldopamine (epinine), one of the few modifications of the dopamine (DA) molecule that retains agonist activity at the DA1 receptor, was administered orally as the diisobutyric ester, ibopamine (100, 200, and 300 mg), to 15 patients with congestive heart failure. An increase in cardiac index and decline in systemic vascular resistance was observed with each dose, and these hemodynamic effects persisted for 3 to 6 hr. Small transient increments in right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures occurred 0.5 hr after ingestion of 200 and 300 mg of ibopamine, but these pressures returned to baseline or lower levels within 30 min. Heart rate and mean arterial pressure were unchanged. Plasma concentrations of epinine peaked 0.5 hr after administration of drug and then declined to minimal levels at 3 hr. Ten patients enrolled in a trial to evaluate the efficacy of long-term therapy with ibopamine; after 8 weeks of treatment, the initial hemodynamic responses to the drug were attenuated and no significant improvement in oxygen uptake at peak exercise was observed. A decline in plasma norepinephrine concentrations, which could be attributed to activation of alpha 2-adrenoceptors and/or DA2 receptors on sympathetic nerves, was observed after initial administration of ibopamine and persisted after long-term drug ingestion; no long-term hemodynamic benefit could be ascribed to the reduction in sympathetic activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Cardiac Output / drug effects
  • Deoxyepinephrine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxyepinephrine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxyepinephrine / biosynthesis*
  • Deoxyepinephrine / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure
  • Rest
  • Stroke Volume / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • ibopamine
  • Deoxyepinephrine
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine