Dopamine hydrochloride has been established as effective in the treatment of hypotension and shock in patients with adequate blood volume. The physiological response is dose related. Administration of more than 10 μg/kg/min results in α-receptor stimulation and vasoconstriction, and peripheral extremity ischemia has been reported. Four patients treated with dopamine subsequently had the development of peripheral ischemia and gangrene, resulting in the need for multiple extremity amputations. These reactions represent a major complication of treatment.
(JAMA 243:1145-1146, 1980)