Skip to Content

Droperidol

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

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Nov 22, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

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 use droperidol if you have a personal or family history of long QT syndrome.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have sudden dizziness with fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, or trouble breathing.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with droperidol if you are allergic to it, or if you have a personal or family history of long QT syndrome.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How is droperidol given?

Before you receive droperidol, your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).

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

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since droperidol is used when needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include pounding heartbeats, trouble breathing, and severe dizziness or fainting.

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 signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);

  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop);

  • 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.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects include:

  • fast heart rate;

  • drowsiness, dizziness; or

  • feeling restless, anxious, or uneasy.

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.

What other drugs will affect droperidol?

Droperidol can cause a serious heart problem. Your risk may be higher if you also use certain other medicines for infections, asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, cancer, malaria, or HIV.

Using other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect for a short time after you have received droperidol. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect droperidol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

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.