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Protopam Chloride

Generic name: pralidoximePRAL-i-DOX-eem ]
Drug class: Antidotes

Medically reviewed by on Jun 28, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Protopam Chloride?

Protopam Chloride is used as an antidote to treat poisoning caused by chemicals, pesticides (insect sprays), or drugs used to treat a muscle disorder.

This medication is not effective as an antidote for all types of pesticide poisonings.

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


If you receive Protopam Chloride during an emergency, make sure any follow-up doctor knows you received Protopam Chloride.

Before taking this medicine

If possible during an emergency, tell your caregivers if you've ever had:

  • an allergy to any medication;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • heart problems; or

  • high blood pressure.

If possible during an emergency, tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How is Protopam Chloride given?

Protopam Chloride is injected into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein.

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

You may be watched for up to 72 hours to make sure the medicine has been effective and you no longer have any effects of the poison.

What happens if I miss a dose?

In a medical setting you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

What should I avoid after receiving Protopam Chloride?

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

Protopam Chloride 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.

Some of the side effects of pralidoxime may be similar to the symptoms of poisoning. Your caregivers will watch you closely to determine whether your body is responding well to the medication, or if you are having any serious side effects.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • chest tightness, shortness of breath;

  • anxiety, dizziness, or nervousness;

  • numbness or tingling;

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • little or no urination;

  • vision problems; or

  • muscular weakness.

Side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects of Protopam Chloride may include:

  • pain for up to an hour after injection into a muscle;

  • trouble breathing;

  • vision changes;

  • nausea;

  • fast heartbeats, increased blood pressure;

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness; or

  • muscle weakness.

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 Protopam Chloride?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Protopam Chloride, 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.