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Fenoldopam is a peripheral arteriolar dilator used for hypertensive emergencies and postoperative hypertension. It acts primarily as an agonist of dopamine D1 receptors, resulting in dilation of peripheral arteries and natriuresis. The commercial product is a racemic mixture with the (R )-isomer mediating the pharmaco-logic activity.
Fenoldopam is rapidly metabolized, primarily by conjugation. Its half-life is 10 minutes. The drug is administered by continuous intravenous infusion. Fenoldopam is initiated at a low dosage (0.1 mcg/kg/min), and the dose is then titrated upward every 15 or 20 minutes to a maximum dose of 1.6 mcg/kg/min or until the desired blood pressure reduction is achieved.
As with other direct vasodilators, the major toxicities are reflex tachycardia, headache, and flushing. Fenoldopam also increases intraocular pressure and should be avoided in patients with glaucoma.
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