Terlipressin for norepinephrine-resistant septic shock

Alastair O'Brien, Lucie Clapp, Mervyn Singer
Lancet 2002 April 6, 359 (9313): 1209-10
Norepinephrine-resistant hypotension when associated with septic shock has a high rate of mortality, which might possibly be reduced by infusion of low-dose vasopressin. However, rebound hypotension often arises after treatment is stopped, and the drug usually has to be administered for several days. We report use of terlipressin, a long-acting vasopressin analogue, in eight patients with septic shock who did not respond to corticosteroids and methylene blue. A significant rise in blood pressure that lasted for at least 5 h was seen in all patients after a single bolus, allowing reduction or cessation of norepinephrine administration in seven patients. We were able to discharge four patients from intensive care subsequently. Terlipressin seems to be an effective rescue therapy, which is able to restore blood pressure in patients with catecholamine-resistant septic shock, without obvious complication.

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