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papaverine

Generic Name: papaverine (injection) (pa PAV er een)
Brand Name:

What is papaverine injection?

Papaverine injection is a vasodilator that works by relaxing smooth muscles in your blood vessels to help them dilate (widen). This lowers blood pressure and allows blood to flow more easily through your veins and arteries.

Papaverine injection is used to treat many conditions that cause spasm of smooth muscle, including heart attack, chest pain, circulation problems, or disorders of the stomach or gallbladder.

Papaverine injection may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about papaverine injection?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to papaverine injection, or have a certain heart condition called AV heart block.

If possible, before you receive papaverine injection tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, liver disease, Parkinson's disease, or if you are using levodopa (Larodopa, Atamet, Parcopa, Sinemet).

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to drowsiness caused by papaverine injection.

Serious side effects of papaverine injection include nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), redness or tingling in your face, fast heart rate, skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness, or swelling or pain around the IV needle.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive papaverine injection?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to papaverine injection, or have a certain heart condition called AV heart block.

If possible, before you receive papaverine injection tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • glaucoma;

  • Parkinson's disease; or

  • liver disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication.

FDA pregnancy category C. Papaverine may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before you receive this medication.

It is not known whether papaverine injection passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

How is papaverine injection given?

Papaverine injection is given as an injection into a muscle, or through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

When given as an injection into a vein, papaverine injection must be given slowly (over 1 or 2 minutes) to prevent vein irritation or other side effects.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include weakness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, blurred vision, sweating, warmth or redness under your skin, fast heart rate, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while receiving papaverine injection?

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to drowsiness caused by papaverine injection.

Papaverine injection 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 doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • low fever, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;

  • dark urine, clay-colored stools;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling in your face;

  • swelling, pain, or irritation around the IV needle;

  • fast heart rate; or

  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea or stomach discomfort;

  • constipation, diarrhea;

  • mild skin rash;

  • tired feeling;

  • headache; or

  • increased sweating.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect papaverine injection?

Before using papaverine injection, tell your doctor if you take levodopa (Larodopa, Atamet, Parcopa, Sinemet).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with papaverine injection. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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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