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Drugs Aging. 1993 Nov-Dec;3(6):556-84.

Ibopamine. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic use in congestive heart failure.

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Adis International Limited, Auckland, New Zealand.


Ibopamine is an orally administered dopamine agonist which is rapidly converted to its active metabolite epinine by esterase hydrolysis. Ibopamine acts predominantly as a vasodilator and inhibitor of neuroendocrine activation in congestive heart failure, but also has mild positive inotropic effects at higher doses. The beneficial effects on cardiac and systemic haemodynamic parameters seen in short term studies have been maintained in predominantly noncomparative trials for up to 1 year, and improvements in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class and clinical symptoms have been observed in patients with congestive heart failure of varying severity. In double-blind studies conducted in small numbers of patients, the efficacy of ibopamine was comparable to that of digoxin, captopril, enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide. Ibopamine can successfully replace treatment with intravenous dopamine in patients with severe heart failure, and is effective and well tolerated when administered in combination with digoxin, diuretics and/or angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Ibopamine has shown no detrimental effects on renal function, few adverse effects on neurohormonal parameters and has demonstrated no significant proarrhythmic properties at therapeutic doses in patients with congestive heart failure. No adverse metabolic effects were observed during ibopamine therapy in patients with diabetes mellitus, nor did ibopamine have detrimental effects in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. While reliable evidence is required concerning effects on mortality before the role of ibopamine can be clearly defined, the drug appears to be a useful agent for combination with conventional therapies in treating patients with mild to severe congestive heart failure.

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