Skip to main content

Cyanokit Dosage

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 31, 2021.

Generic name: Hydroxocobalamin 5g in 250mL
Dosage form: injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution

Important Dosage and Administration Instructions

  • If clinical suspicion of cyanide poisoning is high, administer CYANOKIT without delay.
  • Comprehensive treatment of acute cyanide intoxication requires support of vital functions. Airway, ventilatory and circulatory support, oxygen administration, and management of seizures should not be delayed to administer CYANOKIT [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • The expert advice of a regional poison control center may be obtained by calling 1-800-222-1222.

Identifying Patients with Cyanide Poisoning

Cyanide poisoning may result from inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure to various cyanide-containing compounds, including smoke from closed-space fires. Sources of cyanide poisoning include hydrogen cyanide and its salts, cyanogenic plants, aliphatic nitriles, and prolonged exposure to sodium nitroprusside.

The presence and extent of cyanide poisoning are often initially unknown. There is no widely available, rapid, confirmatory cyanide blood test. Treatment decisions must be made on the basis of clinical history and signs and symptoms of cyanide intoxication.

Table 1 Common Signs and Symptoms of Cyanide Poisoning
Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dyspnea
  • Chest tightness
  • Nausea
Signs
  • Altered Mental Status (e.g., confusion, disorientation)
  • Seizures or Coma
  • Mydriasis
  • Tachypnea / Hyperpnea (early)
  • Bradypnea / Apnea (late)
  • Hypertension (early) / Hypotension (late)
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Vomiting
  • Plasma lactate concentration ≥8 mmol/L

In some settings, panic symptoms including tachypnea and vomiting may mimic early cyanide poisoning signs. The presence of altered mental status (e.g., confusion and disorientation) and/or mydriasis is suggestive of true cyanide poisoning although these signs can occur with other toxic exposures as well.

Smoke Inhalation

Not all smoke inhalation victims will have cyanide poisoning and may present with burns, trauma, and exposure to other toxic substances making a diagnosis of cyanide poisoning particularly difficult. Prior to administration of CYANOKIT, smoke-inhalation victims should be assessed for the following:

  • Exposure to fire or smoke in an enclosed area
  • Presence of soot around the mouth, nose or oropharynx
  • Altered mental status

Although hypotension is highly suggestive of cyanide poisoning, it is only present in a small percentage of cyanide-poisoned smoke inhalation victims. Also indicative of cyanide poisoning is a plasma lactate concentration ≥10 mmol/L (a value higher than that typically listed in the table of signs and symptoms of isolated cyanide poisoning because carbon monoxide associated with smoke inhalation also contributes to lactic acidemia). If cyanide poisoning is suspected, treatment should not be delayed to obtain a plasma lactate concentration.

Use with Other Cyanide Antidotes

The safety of administering other cyanide antidotes simultaneously with CYANOKIT has not been established. If a decision is made to administer another cyanide antidote with CYANOKIT, these drugs should not be administered concurrently in the same intravenous line [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].

Recommended Dosing

The starting dose of hydroxocobalamin for adults is 5 g administered as an intravenous infusion over 15 minutes (approximately 15 mL/min). Administration of the entire vial constitutes a complete starting dose. Depending upon the severity of the poisoning and the clinical response, a second dose of 5 g may be administered by intravenous infusion for a total dose of 10 g. The rate of infusion for the second dose may range from 15 minutes (for patients in extremis) to two hours, as clinically indicated.

Preparation of Solution for Infusion

Reconstitute the 5 g vial of hydroxocobalamin with 200 mL of diluent (not provided with CYANOKIT) using the supplied sterile transfer spike. The recommended diluent is 0.9% Sodium Chloride injection (0.9% NaCl). Lactated Ringers injection and 5% Dextrose injection (D5W) have also been found to be compatible with hydroxocobalamin and may be used if 0.9% NaCl is not readily available. The line on the vial label represents 200 mL volume of diluent. Following the addition of diluent to the lyophilized powder, the vial should be repeatedly inverted or rocked, not shaken, for at least 60 seconds prior to infusion.

Visually inspect hydroxocobalamin solutions for particulate matter and color prior to administration. If the reconstituted solution is not dark red or if particulate matter is observed after the solution has been appropriately mixed, the solution should be discarded.

Incompatibility Information

Physical incompatibility (particle formation) and chemical incompatibility were observed with the mixture of hydroxocobalamin in solution with selected drugs that are frequently used in resuscitation efforts. Hydroxocobalamin is also chemically incompatible with sodium thiosulfate and sodium nitrite and has been reported to be incompatible with ascorbic acid. Therefore, these and other drugs should not be administered simultaneously through the same intravenous line as hydroxocobalamin.

Simultaneous administration of hydroxocobalamin and blood products (whole blood, packed red cells, platelet concentrate and/or fresh frozen plasma) through the same intravenous line is not recommended. However, blood products and hydroxocobalamin can be administered simultaneously using separate intravenous lines (preferably on contralateral extremities, if peripheral lines are being used).

Storage of Reconstituted Drug Product

Once reconstituted, hydroxocobalamin is stable for up to 6 hours at temperatures not exceeding 40°C (104°F). Do not freeze. Any reconstituted product not used by 6 hours should be discarded.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.