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A vasoactive is a pharmaceutical agent that has the effect of either increasing or decreasing blood pressure and/or heart rate. Typically used in a setting where a patient has the blood pressure and heart rate monitored constantly, vasoactive drug therapy is typically "titrated" to achieve a desired effect or range of values as determined by competent clinicians.
Vasoactive drugs are typically administered using a volumetric infusion device (IV Pump). This category of drugs require close observation of the patient with near immediate intervention required by the clinicians in charge of the patient's care. The vasoactive substances are angiotensin-11,endothelin-1 and alpha adrenergic agonists.
The vasoactive agents: rostanoids, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and endothelin antagonists are approved for Pulmonary arterial hypertension. The use of vasoactive agents for patients with pulmonary hypertension may cause harm and unnecessary expense to persons with left heart disease or hypoxemic lung diseases.
- American College of Chest Physicians; American Thoracic Society (September 2013), "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question", Choosing Wisely: an initiative of the ABIM Foundation (American College of Chest Physicians and American Thoracic Society), retrieved 6 January 2013
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