Generic Name: norepinephrine (nor ep i NEF rin)Brand Names: Levophed Bitartrate
Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline. It works by constricting (narrowing) the blood vessels and increasing blood pressure and blood glucose (sugar) levels.
Norepinephrine is used to treat life-threatening low blood pressure (hypotension) that can occur with certain medical conditions or surgical procedures. This medication is often used during CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).
Norepinephrine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about Levophed Bitartrate (norepinephrine)?
Before receiving norepinephrine, tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), overactive thyroid, asthma, or a sulfite allergy.Tell your caregivers right away about any serious side effects such as muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling, trouble breathing, urinating less than usual, irritation of the skin or vein where the medicine is injected, uneven heart rate, sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body, or sudden headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance. Symptoms of a norepinephrine overdose may include slow heart rate, severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, increased sensitivity to light, stabbing chest or back pain, pale skin, sweating, vomiting, or seizure (convulsions).What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving Levophed Bitartrate (norepinephrine)?
Before receiving norepinephrine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
high blood pressure (hypertension);
overactive thyroid; or
asthma or a sulfite allergy;
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to receive norepinephrine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It not known whether norepinephrine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Norepinephrine is given as an injection through a needle placed into a large vein.You will receive this injection in a hospital or emergency setting. Norepinephrine is usually given for as long as needed until your body responds to the medication. Some people must receive norepinephrine for several days.
To be sure norepinephrine is not causing harmful effects, your blood pressure and breathing will be checked during the entire time you are receiving this medication.
Tell your caregivers if you have any pain, irritation, cold feeling, or other discomfort of your skin or veins where the medicine is injected. Norepinephrine can damage the skin or tissues around the injection site if the medication accidentally leaks out of the vein.
Since norepinephrine is usually given as needed in a hospital or emergency setting, it is not likely that you will miss a dose.
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions in food, beverages, activities, or other medications after treatment with norepinephrine.
muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, nausea with vomiting;
fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
blue lips or fingernails, mottled skin;
urinating less than usual or not at all;
irritation of the skin or vein where the medicine is injected;
sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; or
sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before receiving norepinephrine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
blood pressure medications;
an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); or
an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Ascendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), or trimipramine (Surmontil).
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to receive norepinephrine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect norepinephrine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.