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Protopam Chloride

Generic Name: pralidoxime (PRAL i DOX eem)
Brand Name: Protopam Chloride

What is Protopam Chloride?

Protopam Chloride reverses muscle weakness or paralysis caused by a poison or certain drug overdose.

Protopam Chloride is used as an antidote to treat poisoning by a chemical or pesticide (insect spray), or by a drug 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.

Important Information

If possible, before you receive Protopam Chloride, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, or if you are allergic to any drugs.

Also tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

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

Before taking this medicine

If possible, before you receive Protopam Chloride, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, or if you are allergic to any drugs.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Protopam Chloride is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether Protopam Chloride passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby.

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

How is pralidoxime given?

Protopam Chloride is usually given as soon as possible after the onset of poisoning or overdose symptoms. You may need to receive this medicine for several days.

Protopam Chloride is injected into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. This medicine must be given slowly. The IV infusion can take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving this medication.

After treatment with Protopam Chloride, 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 or drug overdose.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Protopam Chloride is given by a healthcare professional in an emergency setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

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

Some of the side effects of Protopam Chloride 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.

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 caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fast heart rate;

  • rapid breathing;

  • increased muscle stiffness;

  • a choking feeling;

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain where the medicine was injected;

  • blurred vision;

  • feeling dizzy or drowsy;

  • headache; or

  • nausea.

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 Protopam Chloride?

If possible, before you receive this medication, tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Protopam Chloride. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Protopam Chloride.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02.

Date modified: March 06, 2018
Last reviewed: December 15, 2010