Cardiotonic agent

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In medicine and pharmacology, cardiotonic agents are "agents that have a strengthening effect on the heart or that can increase cardiac output. They may be cardiac glycosides; sympathomimetics; or other drugs. They are used after myocardial infarct; cardiac surgical procedures; in shock; or in congestive heart failure (heart failure)."[1]


sympathomimetic cardiotonic agents

cardiac glycosides cardiotonic agents

  • Digoxin [r]: The most commonly used synthetic derivative of digitalis glycosides, used clinically to improve the pumping action of the heart [e]

phosphodiesterase inhibitors cardiotonic agents

Indications and contraindications

Other than perhaps to buy time during corrective surgery, drugs have a limited role in maintaining blood pressure as long as uncorrected trauma, obstruction to perfusion, and hemorrhage exists.


  1. Anonymous (2021), Cardiotonic agent (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.