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What is Metamizole used for?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on March 29, 2022.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Metamizole (dipyrone) is a pain reliever that’s also used to treat muscle spasms and fever. It is not approved for use in the United States.

Metamizole is widely used in many other countries, including Mexico, countries of the European Union and South America where it is approved for use in people and animals. It is available by prescription or as an over-the-counter product, depending on the country.

Comparable drugs available in the U.S. include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

Metamizole works in a similar way as NSAIDs, but is not classified as an NSAID. Metamizole is from the ampyrone sulfonate family of medicines.

Metamizole Dosage

The typical adult dosage of dipyrone is 500 mg to 1,000 mg by mouth, taken 2 to 3 times daily. It is also available for intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) or rectal administration. The European Medicines Agency recommends setting the following maximum dosage amounts in people ages 15 and older:

  • A single dose by mouth of 1,000 mg taken up to 4 times daily (max daily dose of 4,000 mg)
  • If given by injection, the total daily dose should not be more than 5,000 mg.

Metamizole Uses

Common uses of metamizole include treating pain that:

  • Happens after surgery
  • Occurs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
  • Is from cancer
  • Comes with migraine headache

Metamizole Side Effects

Common metamizole side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Chest pain and arrhythmias
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Kidney problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash

Rare, but serious side effects include:

  • Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Blood disorders

Metamizole is banned in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and parts of Europe. The reason is that metamizole was found to cause agranulocytosis (a life-threatening blood disorder).

References
  1. European Medicines Agency (EMA). Metamizole containing medicinal products. March 20, 2019. Available at: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/referrals/metamizole-containing-medicinal-products. [Accessed March 18, 2022].
  2. Drugs.com. Metamizole. 2022. Available at: https://www.drugs.com/international/metamizole.html. [Accessed March 18, 2022].
  3. Hearn L, Derry S, Moore RA. Single dose dipyrone (metamizole) for acute postoperative pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;4(4):CD011421. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011421.pub2.
  4. Jasiecka A, Maƛlanka T, Jaroszewski JJ. Pharmacological characteristics of metamizole. Pol J Vet Sci. 2014;17(1):207-214. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24724493/.
  5. Medecins Sans Frontiers. Medical Guidelines: Metamizole. Available at: https://medicalguidelines.msf.org/viewport/EssDr/english/metamizole-dipyrone-noramidopyrine-oral-16684113.html. [Accessed March 18, 2022].
  6. MIMS. Metamizole. 2022. Available at: https://www.mims.com/hongkong/drug/info/metamizole?mtype=generic#:~:text=Symptoms%3A%20Nausea%2C%20vomiting%2C%20headache,%2C%20hypotension%2C%20shock%2C%20tachycardia. [Accessed March 18, 2022].
  7. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Ibuprofen tablets 200 mg. November 3, 2021. Available at: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=119263b5-c3b7-46dc-a3bd-9893bfd24628&type=pdf. [Accessed March 18, 2022].
  8. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Naproxen sodium tablet. December 30, 2021. Available at: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=0c9222e0-81e7-4591-b071-14b0e9cbf01e&type=pdf. [Accessed March 18, 2022].

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