Is there a max dose of Levophed?

  1. 0
    Several of my coworkers are convinced that giving anything greater than 30 mcg/min is pointless. Most books I have read state that 30 mcg/min is the max dose. However, I have also seen doses that were higher and in some cases much higher than 30mcg/min. Is there a max dose of levophed? What would be the problem of using more than 30 mcg/min? Can doses greater than 30mcg/min be therapeutic? Is there a dose where levophed just stops being effective or does this depend on the patient?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

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  2. 21 Comments...

  3. 0
    I just asked this same question last week. There was a pretty big thread on it with lots of great information. In fact it is just a few threads below this one.
  4. 1
    We go as high as 100mcg/min, straight drip. This is usually a terminal situation though.
    Good Morning, Gil likes this.
  5. 1
    Agree with Mark, we go very high if needed, and this is with other pressors on board too. For the most part tho, it is somewhat futile, and the patient expires despite our intervention.
    nursenotamaid likes this.
  6. 0
    From the posts I have read there is a wide range that different people/hospitals use. However, I still don't know what the max dose of levophed is, if any? I googled levophed and still have not found a concrete answer to this question. I am gathering that the dose depends on the individual.

    I found this info on several websites:

    "High Dosage: Great individual variation occurs in the dose required to attain and maintain an adequate blood pressure. In all cases, dosage of Levophed should be titrated according to the response of the patient. Occasionally much larger or even enormous daily doses (as high as 68 mg base or 17 ampuls) may be necessary if the patient remains hypotensive, but occult blood volume depletion should always be suspected and corrected when present. Central venous pressure monitoring is usually helpful in detecting and treating this situation."

    That "enourmous daily dose" that was quoted equals to about 47mcg/min. However, I still do not see where there is max dose. However, it does say that that "levophed should be titrated according to the response of the patient".
  7. 0
    I suppose to answer your question there is not a true max dose for levo, you do titrate for pt response, as well as add other pressors etc. As far as volume depletion, well that should always be suspected first and fluids should be given before pressor support. As far as CVP monitoring, etc. wellll if you have to give that amount of fluids/colloids, or initiate high dose, or multiple pressor support, a CVP, PA cath etc should be in place.
  8. 0
    I think when referring to the 'max' dose of levo.. it's the point when the levo is actually harming the pt.. as opposed to supporting the pt.
    I just used levo... at 0.4mcg/kg/min on a pt recently (52cc/hr). The pt weighted roughly 130+ kg.
    After the 0.4mcg/kg/min mark.. we would have been shutting down here peripheral vasculature completely.
    As someone stated before... after a certain point.. it becomes terminal. You start to see the discoloration of the fingers and toes.. and eventually they begin to mottle.
    If you've maxed out on levo and are not in a 'terminal' situation.. you simply need to add other pressor support.
    In my case.. we added vasopressin.. and our next option would have been a straight epinephrine drip.
    Luckily the pt responded... and 2 days later i was halfed on the levo gtt.. and the vasopressin was off.
  9. 0
    Our max use to be 30mcg/min, however on your revised sepsis order set it advises to go up to 60mcg/min if needed.
  10. 0
    In our facility our max dose for Levophed is 30mcg/min. Just like the other posters have stated once you start to go beyond the max dose it is pointless. I once had a patient on Levo, Neo, Vaso, Epical, and Dopamine and within hours there extremities were modeled all over and expired shortly thereafter.
  11. 0
    I think how much levo is used is not as important as how it is used. Back in the day, before Levophed was first line for sepsis, we called it "leave 'em dead" or "dead in the bed" and was a last resort drug. That is because it wasn't used right; the patient would clamp down and die (with a great blood pressure). Now, if the patient is tanked up, I am of the opinion that you should titrate it up until it works. Granted, after about 20 mcg or so, Neo should be added, and Vaso shouldn't be too far behind. But otherwise, used right, and in the right patient (where the cardiogenic effects aren't too harmful)...I've hit 200 mcg with Neo and Vaso on board with a BiCarb gtt and all else. Just be smart about it.


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