Few data exist on the safety of transferring patients to standard oral therapy for chronic heart failure (CHF) after acute management with inotropic agents. This study compares hemodynamic responses and cardiac dysrhythmic effects of continuous infusion of enoximone, dobutamine, or placebo in patients with moderate to severe CHF. The authors enrolled 136 patients who were randomly assigned to either open-label dobutamine or double-blind enoximone vs placebo. After 24 hours of treatment, the study was unblinded. Patients receiving placebo completed the study. Patients receiving enoximone or dobutamine received the infusion for an additional 24 hours and were then switched to standard oral therapy for 72 hours. Compared with placebo, both enoximone and dobutamine increased cardiac index and decreased pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP). Compared with dobutamine, enoximone significantly increased cardiac index after the first 24 hours of infusion and significantly decreased PCWP throughout the infusion period. There was no difference in the incidence of arrhythmias between enoximone and dobutamine. More patients (65%) tolerated the switch to oral therapy in the enoximone group compared with dobutamine (49%; P =.12). Enoximone is effective in improving the hemodynamics in patients with moderate to severe CHF and is tolerated at least as well as dobutamine. Congest Heart Fail. 2010;16:265–270. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.