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Administration of methylene blue in septic shock: pros and cons.

Septic shock typically requires the administration of vasopressors. Adrenergic agents remain the first choice, namely norepinephrine. However, their use to counteract life-threatening hypotension comes with potential adverse effects, so that non-adrenergic vasopressors may also be considered. The use of agents that act through different mechanisms may also provide an advantage. Nitric oxide (NO) is the main driver of the vasodilation that leads to hypotension in septic shock, so several agents have been tested to counteract its effects. The use of non-selective NO synthase inhibitors has been of questionable benefit. Methylene blue, an inhibitor of soluble guanylate cyclase, an important enzyme involved in the NO signaling pathway in the vascular smooth muscle cell, has also been proposed. However, more than 25 years since the first clinical evaluation of MB administration in septic shock, the safety and benefits of its use are still not fully established, and it should not be used routinely in clinical practice until further evidence of its efficacy is available.

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