Dobutamine is given as the hydrochloride but doses are expressed in terms of the base: 1.12 micrograms of the hydrochloride is approximately equivalent to 1 microgram of base.
It is administered by intravenous infusion as a dilute solution (0.25 to 5 mg/mL) in Glucose 5% or Sodium Chloride 0.9%; other fluids may also be suitable.
In the management of acute heart failure, dobutamine is given at a usual rate of 2.5 to 10 micrograms/kg per minute, according to the patients heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output and urine output. A range of 0.5 up to 40 micrograms/kg per minute has occasionally been required. It has been recommended that the treatment with dobutamine should be discontinued gradually.
Dobutamine is also used as an alternative to exercise in cardiac stress testing. A solution containing 1 mg/mL is employed for this purpose, given via an infusion pump. A dose of 5 micrograms/kg per minute is infused for 8 minutes; the dose is then increased by increments of 5 micrograms/kg per minute up to a usual maximum of 20 micrograms/kg per minute, with each dose being infused for 8 minutes before the next incremental increase of doses up to 40 micrograms/kg per minute has sometimes been used. The ECG should be monitored continuously and the infusion terminated if arrhythmias, marked ST segment depression, or other adverse effect occurs.
Or as prescribed by the physician.