Septic shock patients who received midodrine needed significantly fewer intravenous vasopressors during recovery and had shorter hospital stays, based on data from a retrospective study of 275 adults at a single tertiary care center.

In many institutions, policy dictates that patients must remain in the ICU as long as they need intravenous vasopressors, wrote Dr. Micah R. Whitson of North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y., and colleagues. “One solution to this problem may be replacement of IV vasopressors with an oral agent.”

“Midodrine facilitated earlier patient transfer from the ICU and more efficient allocation of ICU resources,” the researchers wrote (Chest. 2016;149[6]:1380-83).

The researchers compared data on 135 patients treated with midodrine in addition to an intravenous vasopressor and 140 patients treated with an intravenous vasopressor alone.

Overall, patients given midodrine received intravenous vasopressors for 2.9 days while the other group received intravenous vasopressors for 3.8 days, a significant 24% difference. Hospital length of stay was not significantly different, averaging 22 days in the midodrine group and 24 days in the intravenous vasopressor–only group. However, ICU length of stay averaged 7.5 days in the midodrine group and 9.4 days in the vasopressor-only group, a significant 20% reduction. Further, the midodrine group was significantly less likely to reinstitute intravenous vasopressors than the intravenous vasopressor–only group (5.2% vs. 15%, respectively). ICU and hospital mortality rates were not significantly different between the two groups, Dr. Whitson and associates reported.

Patients in the midodrine group received a starting dose of 10 mg every 8 hours, which was increased incrementally until they no longer needed intravenous vasopressors. The maximum midodrine dose in the study was 18.7 mg every 8 hours, and the average duration of use was 6 days.

The patients’ average age was 65 years in the intravenous vasopressor group and 69 years in the midodrine group. Other demographic factors did not significantly differ between the two groups.

One patient discontinued midodrine before discontinuing an intravenous vasopressor because of bradycardia, which resolved without additional treatment.

The findings were limited by the observational nature of the study and the use of data from a single center, the investigators noted. The results, however, support the safety of midodrine and the study “lays the groundwork for a prospective, randomized controlled trial that will examine efficacy, starting dose, escalation, tapering and appropriate patient selection for midodrine use during recovery from septic shock,” they said.

The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.


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