Generic name: edrophonium (e-droe-FOE-nee-um)
Drug class: Cholinergic muscle stimulants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 14, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Diagnostic Agent, Myasthenia Gravis
Pharmacologic Class: Cholinesterase Inhibitor
Uses for edrophonium
Edrophonium injection is used to help diagnose myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness) and may be used to help select the proper treatment for the disease. It is also used to reverse the effects of certain muscle relaxants (eg, gallamine, tubocurarine) during surgery or after an overdose of the muscle relaxant. Edrophonium is an anticholinesterase agent.
Edrophonium is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Before using edrophonium
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 edrophonium, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to edrophonium 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 edrophonium injection in children.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of edrophonium injection in geriatric patients.
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 edrophonium, 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 edrophonium 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.
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.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of edrophonium. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to sulfites, history of—May cause severe allergic reactions.
- Asthma or other breathing problems, history of or
- Bradycardia (slow heart beat) or
- Heart rhythm problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Bladder blockage (unable to urinate) or
- Bowel blockage (unable to have a stool) or
- Kidney blockage (unable to urinate)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper use of edrophonium
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child edrophonium in a hospital. Edrophonium is given as a shot into a muscle or into a vein.
Precautions while using edrophonium
Your doctor will closely check the progress of you or your child while you are receiving edrophonium. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.
The stopper of the vial contains dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a latex allergy before you start using edrophonium.
Edrophonium may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat while you are receiving edrophonium.
Edrophonium side effects
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:
Incidence not known
- Chest pain or discomfort
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- increased frequency of urination
- increased sweating
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- loss of bladder control
- muscle twitches that are visible under the skin
- slurred speech
- trouble breathing
- trouble speaking
- unusual tiredness
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:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach cramps
- constricted pupils (black part of the eye)
- double vision
- increased salivation
- muscle weakness
- redness of the white part of the eyes or inside of the eyelids
- sore throat
- watering of the eyes
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 edrophonium
- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Drug class: cholinergic muscle stimulants
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