Vasopressors and Inotropes

The contents of the traditional “vasopressors and inotropes” pharmacology textbook consist of a brief discussion about mechanisms of action, a bit of pharmacokinetics, some structures sprinkled in for confusion, and a table with +++s or —s denoting receptor affinities. While this information can be useful, it is critical to recognize that the literature feeding these texts is largely based on animal models, often with open chest physiology and may not reflect patients with shock in the emergency department/ICU/anywhere else.

Similarly, understanding the physiologic effects of these drugs to reach a resuscitationist’s knowledge level requires an exceptional foundational knowledge base upon which to build pharmacotherapeutic understanding. Please review these:

Role Team Member Background
Authors Craig Cocchio, PharmD, BCPS
Emergency Medicine Pharmacist, Trinity Mother Frances Hospital
Douglas Gowen, PharmD, BCPS
Emergency Medicine Pharmacist, Glens Falls Hospital (Glens Falls, New York)
PharmD Reviewer Jill Logan, PharmD, BCPS
Emergency Medicine Pharmacist, University of Maryland Medical Center
Physician Reviewer David Juurlink, BPharm, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto
Creator and Lead Editor Bryan Hayes, PharmD, FAACT
Emergency Medicine Pharmacist, Clinical Associate Professor; University of Maryland


Course Content