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Beractant

Generic Name: beractant (ber AK tant)
Brand Name: Survanta Intratracheal

Medically reviewed on September 20, 2017

What is beractant?

Beractant is a lung surface acting agent, or "surfactant." It helps the lungs function normally. Beractant is similar to the natural fluid in the lungs that helps maintain effective breathing.

Beractant is used to treat or prevent respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in a premature baby whose lungs have not fully developed.

Beractant may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Your baby will receive this medication in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or similar hospital setting.

Beractant is given directly into the baby's lungs through a breathing tube that is also connected to a ventilator (a machine that moves air in and out of the lungs to help your baby breathe easier and get enough oxygen).

Your baby will remain under constant supervision during treatment with beractant.

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on feeding or other medications after your child has been treated with beractant.

Before taking this medicine

To best participate in the care of your baby while he or she is in the NICU, carefully follow all instructions provided by your baby's caregivers.

How is beractant given?

Beractant is given directly into the baby's lungs through a breathing tube. Your baby will receive this medication in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or similar hospital setting.

The breathing tube is connected to a ventilator (a machine that moves air in and out of the lungs to help your baby breathe easier and get enough oxygen).

Beractant is given as soon as possible after the baby's birth, usually within minutes or hours.

Your baby's breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely during treatment with beractant. This will help your doctor determine how long to continue treatment with beractant. Your child may also need blood tests.

What happens if my child misses a dose?

Since beractant is given as needed by a healthcare professional, it is not likely that your baby will miss a dose.

What happens if my child receives an overdose?

Since beractant is given in a controlled medical setting by a healthcare professional, an overdose is not likely to occur. However, an overdose of beractant is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should be avoided after my child receives beractant?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions in feeding, medications, or activity after your baby has been treated with beractant.

Beractant side effects

There is a possibility that the baby will have breathing difficulties during the beractant treatment, and these problems may require further treatment by health care professionals. Your baby will remain under constant supervision during treatment with beractant.

Tell your child's caregivers at once if the child has any of these serious side effects:

  • pale skin;

  • slow heartbeat;

  • breathing that stops;

  • urinating less than usual; or

  • blood in the urine.

Less serious side effects include:

  • noisy breathing;

  • feeding or bowel problems; or

  • bleeding around the endotracheal tube.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Beractant dosing information

Usual Pediatric Dose for Respiratory Distress Syndrome:

Less than 48 hours of life:
-Prevention of RDS in infants less than 1250 g birth weight: 100 mg/kg birth weight intratracheally, preferably within 15 minutes of birth
-Treatment (rescue) of RDS: 100 mg/kg birth weight intratracheally, preferably by 8 hours of age
-Maintenance dose: Doses of 100 mg/kg birth weight can be repeated every 6 hours
-Maximum dose: Total of 4 doses within 48 hours of life

48 hours of life or older: Data not available

Comments:
-This drug significantly reduces the incidence of mortality due to RDS and air leak complications.
-Marked improvements in oxygenation may occur within minutes of administration; monitor frequently and carefully the systemic oxygenation to avoid hyperoxia.
-Stop the dosing procedure if the infant experiences bradycardia or oxygen desaturation; initiate appropriate measures to alleviate the condition, and resume treatment after the infant has stabilized.
-Rales and moist breath sounds can occur transiently after administration.
-If clear-cut signs of airway obstruction are present, endotracheal suctioning or other remedial action may be necessary.

Uses:
-Prevention of Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS): In premature infants less than 1250 g birth weight
-Rescue: Treatment of infants with RDS confirmed by X-ray and requiring mechanical ventilation

What other drugs will affect beractant?

Your baby's caregivers will manage and monitor all medications given to your baby during treatment in the NICU. A drug interaction between beractant and other medications is not expected to occur.

Do not give any medications to your baby that have not been prescribed by the baby's doctor. This includes vitamins, minerals, or herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

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