Pulmonary Edema | Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

8. Inotropic drugs

Inotropes are a class of drugs that effectively strengthen heart contractions.

1) Dopamine:

A natural molecule synthesized in the body. Dopamine can be administered to increase cardiac contractility, dilate the blood vessels, and increase urine output, making the heart’s workload lighter.

2) Dobutamine:

This drug acts to increase the strength of heart contractions, increase the heart rate, and dilate the blood vessels of the body, making the heart’s job easier.

3) Milrinone:

A drug that belongs to the class of Phosphodiesterase inhibitors. Milrinone acts to increase cardiac contractility, decrease preload (less blood goes to the heart), and decrease afterload (Less systemic vascular resistance).

4) Levosimendan:

Calcium is the main molecule involved in muscle contraction, not just in the heart but throughout the body. Levosimendan makes the muscle layer of the heart, the myocardium, more sensitive to calcium ions. Thus, the strength of heart contractions is increased without needing excessive calcium entry, which would be dangerous. Levosimendan also causes dilatation of the blood vessels (Vasodilation) which makes cardiac pumping easier.