Vasoactive Medications

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Pearls for Vasoactive Medications

1. Titrate up and down low and slow.
2. Recognize the reason for the medication: Is it working on the pump, tank, pipes or heart rate?
3. The most common objective target for vasoactive medications is a MAP >65.

Common Receptors You Will Hear


  • Primarily found in blood vessels
  • Squeezes the pipes
  • Increases afterload


  • Primarily found in the heart
  • Squeezes the pump
  • Increases heart rate
  • Increases contractility


  • Primarily found in the lungs
  • Bronchodilation

Download a copy of this Cheat Sheet here.

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