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Neostigmine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: neostigmine (nee-oh-STIG-meen)
Brand Name: Prostigmin

Neostigmine is used for:

Treating myasthenia gravis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Neostigmine is a cholinesterase inhibitor. It works by improving the transmission of nerve impulses in muscles so that the muscles are better able to work.

Do NOT use neostigmine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in neostigmine
  • you are taking procainamide, a quinine derivative (eg, quinidine), or succinylcholine

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

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using neostigmine:

Some medical conditions may interact with neostigmine. 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 a heart blockage, a slow heartbeat, a blockage of the intestines, or a urinary tract obstruction or infection

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

  • General anesthetics (eg, cyclopropane), procainamide, or quinine derivatives (eg, quinidine) because they may decrease the effectiveness of neostigmine
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propanolol) or succinylcholine because side effects may be increased by neostigmine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if neostigmine 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 neostigmine:

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

  • Neostigmine may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you miss a dose of neostigmine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

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

Important safety information:

  • Neostigmine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or fainting. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to neostigmine. Using neostigmine alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using neostigmine.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using neostigmine during pregnancy. It is unknown if neostigmine is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using neostigmine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of neostigmine:

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:

Abdominal cramps; diarrhea; difficulty speaking; dilation of pupils; dizziness; drowsiness; excess saliva; frequent urination; gas; headache; increased sweating; joint pain; muscle twitching; weakness.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; itching; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fainting; increased muscle weakness; interrupted breathing; irregular heartbeat; seizures; vision changes.

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. Symptoms may include blurred vision; cold sweating; difficulty swallowing; panic; severe anxiety; stomach cramps; vomiting.

Proper storage of neostigmine:

Store neostigmine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep neostigmine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about neostigmine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Neostigmine 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 neostigmine 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 neostigmine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to neostigmine. 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 neostigmine.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
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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