Compare and contrast the pharmacology of noradrenaline and dobutamine.
The best answers used tables and key pharmacological headings for comparisons, and
avoided long sentences/ paragraphs.
An answer that correctly considered the following sections would be awarded a very good
pass: Presentation, pharmacodynamics, mechanism of action, organ effects, side effects and
Many candidates failed to identify agents as natural / synthetic catecholamines.
Few answers correctly mentioned the available preparations of these drugs or considered the
structure activity relationships. Only 3 candidates commented that dobutamine is a racemic
Intracellular second messenger pathways were often incorrectly recounted or not mentioned at
all. Pharmacodynamic effects on all organ systems, and all CVS parameters (HR, inotropy,
PVR, SVR, SBP/DBP/MAP, regional circulations) should be considered. Metabolic fate and
clinical dosage ranges were frequently incorrectly quoted.