Vasopressin vs Terlipressin in Treatment of Refractory Shock

G Scarpati, O Piazza
Translational Medicine @ UniSa 2013, 5: 22-7
Arginine vasopressin (AVP) and its synthetic, long-acting analog terlipressin (TP) are potent alternative vasoconstrictors in the treatment of septic patients with catecholamine-refractive vasodilatatory shock. Recent clinical data suggest that early administration of AVP analogues may be advantageous compared to a last resort therapy. However, it is still unknown whether vasopressin and terlipressin are equally effective for hemodynamic support in shock. Despite important pharmacological differences between the two drugs the use of either substance is determined mainly by local availability and institutional inventory. The current literature suggests that neither AVP nor TP should be administered in high doses in shock. Furthermore, increasing evidence indicates that early administration of terlipressin may improve outcome as compared to a last-resort treatment. Low-dose infusion of AVP has been demonstrated to be a safe adjunct in the management of refractory shock. Evidence from experimental studies and initial clinical reports suggests that continuous low-dose infusion of TP may stabilize hemodynamics in shock. In this review we briefly described differences in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics between AVP and Terlipressin (TP) in treatment of refractory shock.

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