Diprivan Side Effects
Generic Name: propofol
Note: This page contains information about the side effects of propofol. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Diprivan.
Not all side effects for Diprivan may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
For the Consumer
Applies to propofol: parenteral injectable emulsion
Side effects include:
Use for anesthesia or MAC sedation: Bradycardia, arrhythmia, tachycardia, hypotension, hypertension, movement, burning/stinging, pain at injection site, apnea, rash, pruritus.
Use for critical care setting sedation: Bradycardia, decreased cardiac output, hypotension, hyperlipidemia, respiratory acidosis (during weaning).
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to propofol: intravenous emulsion
Phase IV data from over 25,000 patients report a 10.8% incidence of adverse effects associated with propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) 0.9% of these patients reported serious hypotension nausea/vomiting, bradycardia and/or hypertension.[Ref]
Fifty-three percent of patients experienced a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 15% to 35% during the maintenance period. Heart rate decreased to less than 50 beats per minute in approximately 2% of patients at induction. The manufacturer recommends that anticholinergic agents (i.e. atropine or glycopyrrolate) be administered when increases in vagal tone are anticipated.
Despite the marked decreases in arterial pressure, several small studies have noted no accompanying signs of ischemia detected on the electrocardiogram.[Ref]
Cardiovascular side effects associated with propofol include hypotension after induction (53%), and bradycardia at induction (2%). Hypotension has been reported in 26% of ICU patients. Cardiac output may decline. Decreased intracranial pressure and cerebral blood flow independent of changes in arterial pressure have been reported. Pulmonary edema, asystole, syncope, perioperative arrhythmias and cardiac arrest have been reported rarely in association with propofol. A case of propofol-associated fatal myocardial failure and rhabdomyolysis has also been reported.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects including cough, upper airway obstruction, hypoventilation, respiratory acidosis, and dyspnea have occurred, although causality has not been established in each of these effects. Beneficial bronchodilation has been reported.
Apnea, possibly lasting longer than 60 seconds, may occur in patients receiving propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) at induction.[Ref]
Metabolic side effects including lactic acidosis have been reported with propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) use, possibly due to the lipid base impairing hepatic lactate metabolism.
Hyperlipidemia may occur, particularly in patients with disorders of lipid metabolism (the propofol base is a lipid emulsion).[Ref]
Dermatologic side effects including rash (1% to 3%) and pruritus (less than 1%) have been reported.[Ref]
Ocular side effects including decrease in intraocular pressure has been reported in patients with normal and abnormal intraocular pressure. Ophthalmoplegia (inability to open eyes) was reported in 19% of patients in one study.[Ref]
Propofol is associated with a decrease in intraocular pressure in 31% to 60% of adults and elderly patients. The effect occurs immediately after induction and is sustained during intubation.[Ref]
Local side effects including injection site pain (28% to 90%), phlebitis (less than 1%), flushing (less than 1%), and extravasation have been reported. Increased oral and nasal secretions have been rarely associated with propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) [Ref]
Injection site pain is less if the venous catheter is placed in a larger vein (e.g. the dorsum of the hand rather than the antecubital fossa). Pain can be abolished in most patients by adding one milliliter of lidocaine 1% to the propofol emulsion immediately prior to administration.
One case of inadvertent intra-arterial injection (into the left brachial artery) has been reported. Blanching and severe pain radiating down the arm occurred, and the injection was halted and resumed in the other forearm. No residual effects were observed on follow-up.[Ref]
Nervous system side effects including perioperative myoclonia, seizures, and opisthotonos have been reported rarely. Neuroexcitatory events are most often observed during emergence. Delayed awakening (less than 15 minutes) has been reported (7%). Patients may report unusual dreams upon awakening.[Ref]
Propofol-induced neurologic reactions can be divided into dystonic and seizure-like. Benztropine can be used to treat dystonic reactions.
One report suggests that the incidence of seizures in association with propofol is 1 in 47,000, and delayed reactions (4 hours to 5 days) tend to occur in about one-third of these patients. Most reported episodes have been transient. Propofol has also been shown to have anticonvulsant properties. Myotonia has been reported.
Propofol-induced dyskinesias (chorea and dystonia) have been reported in Parkinson's disease patients undergoing pallidotomy, which subsided with discontinuation of the propofol or the use of 2 mg intravenous midazolam.[Ref]
Hypersensitivity side effects including anaphylaxis have occurred rarely (less than 1%) during propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) infusion.[Ref]
One report suggests to avoid the use of propofol in patients with a history of anaphylaxis to muscle relaxants.[Ref]
Nausea and vomiting are less frequent (compared to other anesthetics) as propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) has intrinsic antiemetic properties. An unusual taste, occurring immediately after injection has been reported. A case of pancreatitis and a case of hiccups have also been reported.[Ref]
The association between the reported case of pancreatitis and the use of propofol has been questioned by other authors. Prolonged use of propofol sedation in the intensive care unit has been associated with possible pancreatitis.[Ref]
Musculoskeletal side effects have included depression of the swallowing reflex, but recovery was rapid.[Ref]
Hepatic side effects have included several case reports of acute pancreatitis associated with the use of propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) for induction during general anesthesia. Causality has not been determined.[Ref]
Between 1991 and 1996, 8 cases of postoperative acute pancreatitis in association with propofol use have been reported to the FDA, of which 3 cases had complicating processes that might account for development of pancreatitis. It is speculated that pancreatitis due to hypertriglyceridemia induced by the propofol emulsion may be the mechanism; however, this is controversial. Patients receiving prolonged and high-dose infusions of propofol may be at greater risk for increased serum lipids. Although this association has not been proven, clinicians should be aware of these case reports, and review the patient's drug history if acute pancreatitis develops postoperatively in association with the use propofol.[Ref]
Other side effects including sneezing have been reported.[Ref]
Unexpected patient movement with a needle near the eye can lead to catastrophic outcomes. Therefore, sneezing can be a highly clinically relevant side effect if a patient is receiving periocular injections of anesthetic along with intravenous sedation.[Ref]
Renal side effects including green urine have been reported after induction or prolonged use of propofol (the active ingredient contained in Diprivan) This coloring effect is well known of phenol compounds, and does not adversely affect renal function. Elevated porphyrins have been reported in one patient, although the patient remained clinically well. Milky pink urine has also been reported.[Ref]
1. Bryson HM, Fulton BR, Faulds D "Propofol: an update of its use in anaesthesia and conscious sedation." Drugs 50 (1995): 513-59
2. Elcock D, Norris A "Elevated porphyrins following propofol anaesthesia in acute intermittent porphyria." Anaesthesia 49 (1994): 957-8
3. Fulton B, Sorkin EM "Propofol: an overview of its pharmacology and a review of its clinical efficacy in intensive care sedation." Drugs 50 (1995): 636-57
4. "Product Information. Diprivan (propofol)." Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, DE.
5. Smith I, White PF, Nathanson M, Gouldson R "Propofol - an update on its clinical use." Anesthesiology 81 (1994): 1005-43
6. Warden JC, Pickford DR "Fatal cardiovascular collapse following propofol induction in high-risk patients and dilemmas in the selection of a short-acting induction agent." Anaesth Intensive Care 23 (1995): 485-7
7. Zarovnaya EL, Jobst BC, Harris BT "Propofol-associated fatal myocardial failure and rhabdomyolysis in an adult with status epilepticus." Epilepsia 48 (2007): 1002-6
8. Deutschman CS, Harris AP, Fleisher LA "Changes in heart rate variability under propofol anesthesia: a possible explanation for propofol-induced bradycardia." Anesth Analg 79 (1994): 373-7
9. Billard V, Moulla F, Bourgain JL, Megnigbeto A, Stanski DR "Hemodynamic response to induction and intubation: propofol/fentanyl interaction." Anesthesiology 81 (1994): 1384-93
10. Parmar M, Sansome A "Propofol-induced bronchodilation in status asthmaticus?" Anaesthesia 50 (1995): 1003-4
11. Strachan AN, Raithatha HH "Propofol myoclonus." Can J Anaesth 43 (1996): 536-7
12. Mateu J, Barrachina F "Hypertriglyceridaemia associated with propofol sedation in critically ill patients." Intensive Care Med 22 (1996): 834-5
13. Marinella MA "Lactic acidosis associated with propofol." Chest 109 (1996): 292
14. Findlay JY "White veins after propofol." Anaesthesia 49 (1994): 838
15. Mecklem DWJ "Propofol injection pain - comparing the addition of lignocaine or metoclopramide." Anaesth Intensive Care 22 (1994): 568-70
16. Eriksson M "Prilocaine reduces injection pain caused by propofol." Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 39 (1995): 210-3
17. Lomax D "Propofol injection pain." Anaesth Intensive Care 22 (1994): 500-1
18. DeFriez CB, Wong HC "Seizures and opisthotonos after propofol anesthesia." Anesth Analg 75 (1992): 630-2
19. Harrigan PWJ, Browne SM, Quail AW "Multiple seizures following re-exposure to propofol." Anaesth Intensive Care 24 (1996): 261-4
20. Hughes NJ, Lyons JB "Prolonged myoclonus and meningism following propofol." Can J Anaesth 42 (1995): 744-6
21. Nordstrom O, Sandin R "Recall during intermittent propofol anaesthesia." Br J Anaesth 76 (1996): 699-701
22. Cochran D, Price W, Gwinnutt CL "Unilateral convulsion after induction of anaesthesia with propofol." Br J Anaesth 76 (1996): 570-2
23. Krauss JK, Akeyson EW, Giam P, Jankovic J "Propofol-induced dyskinesias in parkinson's disease." Anesth Analg 83 (1996): 420-2
24. Sutherland MJ, Burt P "Propofol and seizures." Anaesth Intensive Care 22 (1994): 733-7
25. Samra SK, Sneyd JR, Ross DA, Henry TR "Effects of propofol sedation on seizures and intracranially recorded epileptiform activity in patients with partial epilepsy." Anesthesiology 82 (1995): 843-51
26. Schramm BM, Orser BA "Dystonic reaction to propofol attenuated by benztropine (cogentin)." Anesth Analg 94 (2002): 1237-40
27. Kinney MAO, Harrison BA "Propofol-induced myotonia in myotonic dystrophy." Anesth Analg 83 (1996): 665-6
28. De Leon-Casasola OA, Weiss A, Lema MJ "Anaphylaxis due to propofol." Anesthesiology 77 (1992): 384-6
29. McHale SP, Konieczko K "Anaphylactoid reaction to propofol." Anaesthesia 47 (1992): 864-5
30. Laxenaire M-C, Mata-Bermejo E, Moneret-Vautrin DA, Gueant J-L "Life-threatening anaphylactoid reactions to propofol (diprivan)." Anesthesiology 77 (1992): 275-80
31. Donmez A, Sener M, Candan S, Arslan G "Can we blame propofol for pancreatitis?." Pharmacotherapy 19 (1999): 1181-2
32. Kumar AN, Schwartz DE, Lim KG "Propofol-induced pancreatitis - Recurrence of pancreatitis after rechallenge." Chest 115 (1999): 1198-9
33. Phelps KC, Restino MS "Propofol in chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting." Ann Pharmacother 30 (1996): 290-2
34. Possidente CJ "Can we blame propofol for pancreatitis? Authors reply." Pharmacotherapy 19 (1999): 1182
35. Myles PS, Hendrata M, Bennett AM, Langley M, Buckland MR "Postoperative nausea and vomiting. propofol or thiopentone: does choice of induction agent affect outcome?" Anaesth Intensive Care 24 (1996): 355-9
36. Landers C, Turner D, Makin C, Zaglul H, Brown R "Propofol associated hiccups and treatment with lidocaine." Anesth Analg 107 (2008): 1757-8
37. Low SW "The taste of propofol." Anaesth Intensive Care 23 (1995): 753-4
38. Rimaniol JM, Dhonneur G, Duvaldestin P "Recovery of the swallowing reflex after propofol anesthesia." Anesth Analg 79 (1994): 856-9
39. Leisure GS, Oflaherty J, Green L, Jones DR "Propofol and postoperative pancreatitis." Anesthesiology 84 (1996): 224-7
40. Wingfield TW "Pancreatitis after propofol administration: is there a relationship?" Anesthesiology 84 (1996): 236
41. Tao JP "Sneezing reflex associated with intravenous sedation and periocular anesthetic injection." Am J Ophthalmol 147 (2009): 183; author reply 183-4
42. Tan CK, Lai CC, Cheng KC "Propofol-related green urine." Kidney Int 74 (2008): 978
More about Diprivan (propofol)
- Other brands: Propoven
Related treatment guides
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.