In a prospective open study we evaluated whether intravenous dopamine infusions can be safely switched to enterally administered ibopamine in dopamine-dependent patients. Six patients defined as being clinically stable, normovolaemic, but dopamine dependent, i.e. with repeated inability to stop intravenous dopamine, were included. Ibopamine was administered via a nasogastric or nasoduodenal tube. During the initial 48-hour period of ibopamine administration the dopamine infusion was gradually decreased and then discontinued. Arterial blood pressure was continuously recorded via a 20-gauge cannula in the radial artery. Urine output was measured each hour. In all 6 patients it was possible to decrease and then discontinue the dopamine infusion whilst maintaining haemodynamic stability and an appropriate diuresis. It was then possible to discharge the patients from the intensive care unit. Normovolaemic, clinically stable but dopamine-dependent patients may be weaned off intravenous dopamine by substitution of enterally administered ibopamine, allowing discharge from the intensive care unit.