Podcast 801: Push Dose Vasopressors - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 801: Push Dose Vasopressors

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • There are two common options for push-dose vasopressor: phenylephrine and epinephrine. Both have been studied in the setting of the OR, but are lacking data in emergency room utilization. 
  • A recent retrospective study at one hospital compared the two options for effectiveness and safety. The data showed phenylephrine raised systolic pressure an average 26 points while epinephrine raised the systolic pressure higher, an average of 33 points.
  • Additionally, the same study showed dosing errors were more common in epinephrine. The error rates were 13% and 2% when using premixed syringes of epinephrine and phenylephrine respectively. However, overall no increase in adverse outcomes were reported between the two drugs in this study. 


Nam E, Fitter S, Moussavi K. Comparison of push-dose phenylephrine and epinephrine in the emergency department. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;52:43-49. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2021.11.033

Weingart S. Push-dose pressors for immediate blood pressure control. Clin Exp Emerg Med. 2015;2(2):131-132. Published 2015 Jun 30. doi:10.15441/ceem.15.010


Summarized by Kirsten Hughes, MS4 | Edited by John Spartz, MD & Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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