Dobutamine DBL, Dobutrex

Reviewed by NICU and Dept. of Pharmacy
November 2011
Dose and Pharmacology Newborn Drug Protocol Index Newborn Services Home Page


Management of  Dobutamine  Administration


  1. Clear, colourless solution 250mg in 20 ml (12.5 mg/ml in 20ml vials). pH 2.5-5.5. Osmolality is 260 – 280 mOsm/Kg in glucose 5%.
  2. Contains sodium metabisulfite BP 4.4mg/20ml.


Charted on fluid chart giving:

Also charted on drug chart under continuous infusions giving:


Continuous Infusion

Should be administered via a central line (UVC, Longline, or Surgical CVL).
If no central access available, use a cannula in a large vein.

  1. Administered by a Nurse with neonatal IV drug certification.
  2. Solution can discolour (pink) but may still be used.
  3. Dilute 30 mg/kg (2.4 ml/kg) dobutamine to make 50ml with NS or D5W. Mix well.

    1 ml/hour = 10 micrograms/kg/minute.

    Solution strength should not exceed 5 mg/ml.

  4. Compatible with NS, D5W and D10W. Also compatible at Y injection site with dopamine, morphine, insulin and IVN.
  5. Incompatible with sodium bicarbonate and any strongly alkaline solution.
  6. Do NOT mix with any other drug, blood or blood products. Do NOT flush line.
  7. Administer via a syringe pump.
  8. Change fluid and tubing every 48 hours.

Nursing Considerations

  1. Observe IV site closely and avoid extravasation. Dobutamine can cause inflammatory response and tissue ischaemia.
  2. Monitor for adverse reactions
  3. Continuous blood pressure monitoring
  4. Continuous cardiorespiratory monitoring
  5. Document vital signs hourly and PRN
  6. Monitor fluid balance



1 Data sheet 2008
1 Hey, E, editor. Neonatal formulary. 5th ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing; 2007
2 Martin, J, Managing editor. BNF for children 2010-2011. London: BMJ Group, Pharmaceutical Press & RCPCH Publications Ltd; 2010.
3 Phelps SJ, Hak EB, Crill CM, editors. Teddy bear book: Pediatric injectable drugs. 8th ed. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Heath-System Pharmacists; 2007.