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Droperidol

Generic Name: droperidol (dro PER i dol)
Brand Name: Inapsine

Medically reviewed on March 26, 2018.

What is droperidol?

Droperidol is a sedative, tranquilizer, and anti-nausea medicine.

Droperidol is used to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by surgery or other medical procedures.

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

Important Information

You should not receive this medicine if you have a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome. Before you are treated with droperidol, your heart function will need to be checked with an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).

To make sure droperidol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure, slow heartbeats, or an electrolyte imbalance. Also tell your doctor if you take a diuretic, or if you regularly consume alcohol or use sedatives or intravenous (IV) narcotic medication.

Some medicines can interact with droperidol and should not be used at the same time. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use certain antibiotics, or certain medicines to treat cancer, malaria, depression, or mental illness. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with droperidol.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats.

Before taking this medicine

You should not receive this medicine if you are allergic to droperidol, or have a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.

To make sure droperidol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, congestive heart failure;

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • high blood pressure;

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland); or

  • a history of alcohol abuse.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether droperidol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether droperidol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is droperidol given?

Droperidol is given as an injection through a needle placed into a muscle or a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting prior to and/or during your surgery or medical procedure.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since droperidol is given as needed by a healthcare professional, it is not likely that you will miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving droperidol?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Droperidol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregiver right away if you have:

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • numbness or tingly feeling;

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);

  • twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck; or

  • severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors.

Common side effects include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness; or

  • feeling restless or anxious.

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)

What other drugs will affect droperidol?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with droperidol, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with droperidol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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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