If you suffer from problems due to low blood pressure, you must have been prescribed Levophed at some time or other? Read on to know all about this drug including its uses, dosage, interactions and side effects.

What is Levophed?

Levophed is the brand name of Norepiphrine, a drug having action similar to adrenaline. This drug acts by narrowing the blood vessels, which is useful in cases of Hypotension. Levophed Bitartarate is the brand name of Norepiphrine. Noreepinephire is a catecholamine and is used for curing hypotension. The drug is extremely useful in various surgical procedures which are frequently associated with sharp decline in blood pressure.

Mechanism of Levophed Action

Picture of Levophed

Picture 1 – Levophed

Levophed (Norepiphrine) is synthesized from tyrosine through an enzymatic process. During this process intermediates, namely L-dihydroxyphenylalanine and dopamine, are also formed. Thereafter, the drug moves to synaptic vesicles with the help of vesicular transport. From this site the drug is released to synaptic cleft where it acts on the adrenergic receptors.

Levophed Uses

The medication is used to cure disorders like mental depression, hypotension and hyperactivity disorder. Since the drug is not capable of passing the blood brain barrier, it has to be administered with amphetamines for better performance. Read and know about the use of Levophed (Norepiphrine) in various diseases:

  1. Hypotension: The medicine is mainly used to cure cases of Hypotension. The drug acts by stimulating adrenergic receptors which further results in vasoconstriction. Due to this reason, the drug is extremely beneficial in treating various types of shocks such as septic shock and neurogenic shock. This drug reprtedly involves fewer side effects. Naturally, it is preferred over Dopamine.
  2. Hyperactvity Disorder: The drug is extremely effective in curing Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It relives various symptoms of the disease by increasing the efficiency of the nervous system of the patient. As a result, he/she is able to concentrate better on work.
  3. Depression: Increased amount of Noreepinephrine also helps in depression. It works by increasing the serotonin activity.

Dosage and Administration of Levophed

Certain factors have to be taken into account during the administration of Levophed.


Levophed is required to be diluted in 5 percent dextrose injection. The drug should not be administered in a saline solution. The blood pressure and breathing should also be properly monitored during the administration of the drug. Immediately communicate health problems like irritation or difficulty in breathing, if you notice any, to your doctor.

Average Dose

A solution used for adults is made by adding 4mg of the drug in 1000 ml of 5 % dextrose solution. The rate of flow should be adjusted thereafter as per the medical condition of the patient.

Duration of Therapy

The drug should be used for the entire duration until proper blood pressure is achieved. The amount of drug should be decreased slowly, as sudden withdrawal of the drug infusion can lead to health complications.

Side Effects of Levophed

Image of Levophed

Picture 2 – Levophed Image

Levophed is also associated with some side effects but it is comparatively safer in comparison to other similar drugs like dopamine. Know about some of the major side effects of the medicine.

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Muscular pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blue lips
  • Headache
  • Mental confusion
  • Blurred speech
  • Absence of urination
  • Rashes on skin (occasional)

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately. You may be asked to discontinue the drug for some time to avoid these side effects. Being updated about the side effects will help you identify them at earlier stages and help prevent further complications.

Overdose of Levophed

An overdose of this drug is associated with problems like

  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Mental confusion
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulties in breathing

Back pain is another common indication of a Levophed overdose.

Precautions with Levophed

There are a number of precautions to be taken with Levophed. If you have high blood pressure, thyroid problem or asthma, communicate the problems to your doctor in advance. Doctors may suggest you to use any other alternative instead of norepinephire (Levophed) or make necessary adjustments in dosage. Again, this is an FDA pregnancy category C drug. Thus, you should not take this drug during pregnancy. Neglecting this aspect can be harmful for the baby as the drug is capable of passing to the fetus. You should also avoid using this medication if you are breast feeding your baby as it can get released into your breast milk and affect your infant adversely.

Drug Interactions of Levophed

Levophed is capable of interacting with:

  • Other Blood Pressure Medications
  • MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline)
  • Antidepressant Drugs (amitriptyline, amoxapine, imipramine, trimipramine)

If you are taking any of these medications, inform the doctor in advance. The doctor will advise you to make the necessary dosage adjustments or suggest any other alternative. Even if you are taking other over-the-counter drugs or supplements like vitamins and minerals, you should inform your professional medical caregiver about them. You should also refrain from using any new medication during the period of drug therapy without consulting your doctor.






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