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Dantrolene

Pronunciation

Generic Name: dantrolene (DAN-troe-leen)
Brand Name: Examples include Dantrium and Revonto

Dantrolene is used for:

Treating episodes of severe high body temperature (malignant hyperthermia). It is also used to prevent or reduce the risk of malignant hyperthermia in certain patients before or after surgery or anesthesia. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dantrolene is a muscle relaxant. It works by restoring a normal level of calcium in the muscles, which helps to prevent or reduce severe high body temperature.

Do NOT use dantrolene if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dantrolene

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using dantrolene:

Some medical conditions may interact with dantrolene. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have heart problems, lung or breathing problems (eg, obstructive pulmonary disease), or a history of liver problems
  • if you are older than 35 years old
  • if you are taking any medicines for mental or mood problems
  • if you are taking a calcium channel blocker (eg, verapamil). Certain patients should not use calcium channel blockers along with dantrolene

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dantrolene. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Muscle relaxers (eg, cyclobenzaprine) because they may increase the risk of muscle weakness
  • Estrogen or medicines that may harm the liver (eg, acetaminophen, methotrexate, ketoconazole, isoniazid, certain medicines for HIV infection) because the risk of liver problems may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the liver

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dantrolene may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dantrolene:

Use dantrolene as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dantrolene is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using dantrolene at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If dantrolene contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of dantrolene, contact your doctor or health care provider immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dantrolene.

Important safety information:

  • Dantrolene may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or light-headedness. It may also cause muscle weakness (eg, decrease in grip strength; weak leg muscles, especially walking down stairs). These symptoms may last for up to 48 hours. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous during this time.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using dantrolene; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • You may need help with standing and walking until your strength has come back to normal.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take dantrolene before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • To reduce the risk of choking, be sure to chew food thoroughly and swallow small amounts of food on days when dantrolene is administered.
  • Serious and sometimes fatal liver problems have occurred with the oral form of dantrolene. This has occurred most often between the 3rd and 12th month of treatment. The risk may be greater when the medicine is used in higher doses, even for a short period of time. It may also be greater in women, people older than 35 years old, and people who use other medicines at the same time. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Dantrolene may cause tissue damage if it leaks from the vein. Tell your health care provider if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the medicine is going into your body.
  • Lab tests, including liver function tests, may be performed while you use dantrolene. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if dantrolene can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using dantrolene while you are pregnant. Dantrolene is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dantrolene.

Possible side effects of dantrolene:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Decreased grip strength; dizziness; drowsiness; flushing; headache; nausea; light-headedness; tiredness; voice changes; weakness (eg, muscle weakness).

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood vessel inflammation; chest pain; choking; difficulty swallowing; shallow breathing; shortness of breath; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of dantrolene:

Dantrolene is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using dantrolene at home, store dantrolene as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep dantrolene out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dantrolene, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dantrolene is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dantrolene or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dantrolene. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dantrolene. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dantrolene.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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