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Pronunciation: pa-pav'er-en

Definition: A nonnarcotic benzylisoquinoline alkaloid of opium that has mild analgesic action and is a powerful spasmolytic; has been used to treat male impotence by local injection, which works by inhibiting phosphodiesterase in smooth muscle cells. Also available as papaverine hydrochloride.

[L. papaver, poppy]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.