Generic name: dantrolene [ DAN-troe-leen ]
Drug class: Skeletal muscle relaxants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 11, 2023.
Uses for dantrolene
Dantrolene is used to prevent or treat a medical problem called malignant hyperthermia that may occur in some patients during or following surgery or anesthesia. Malignant hyperthermia consists of a group of symptoms including very high fever, fast and irregular heartbeat, and breathing problems. It is believed that the tendency to develop malignant hyperthermia is inherited.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using dantrolene
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of dantrolene in children.
Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of dantrolene have not been performed in the geriatric patient, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution in patients receiving dantrolene.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Calcium Oxybate
- Chloral Hydrate
- Magnesium Oxybate
- Potassium Oxybate
- Sodium Oxybate
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper use of dantrolene
Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Precautions while using dantrolene
Your doctor will only give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then you will be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or muscle weakness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert or well-coordinated.
Side Effects of dantrolene
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blue lips and fingernails
- chest pain
- coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
- difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
- difficulty swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- increased sweating
- pale skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- shortness of breath
- skin rash
- swelling in legs and ankles
- tightness in chest
- tissue necrosis
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
- Changes in skin color, pain, tenderness, or swelling of foot or leg
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Flushing or redness of skin
- unusually warm skin
Incidence not known
- muscle weakness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about dantrolene
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- Drug class: skeletal muscle relaxants
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- Dantrolene drug information
- Dantrolene (Oral) (Advanced Reading)
- Dantrolene Capsules
- Dantrolene Injection
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