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Diprivan Side Effects

Generic Name: propofol

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of propofol. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Diprivan.

In Summary

Common side effects of Diprivan include: hypotension. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to propofol: parenteral injectable emulsion

Side effects include:

Use for anesthesia or MAC sedation: Bradycardia, arrhythmia, tachycardia, hypotension, hypertension, movement, burning/stinging, pain at injection site, apnea, rash, pruritus.

Use for critical care setting sedation: Bradycardia, decreased cardiac output, hypotension, hyperlipidemia, respiratory acidosis (during weaning).

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to propofol: intravenous emulsion


Very common (10% or more): Hypotension (up to 75%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension, bradycardia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arrhythmias, tachycardia, extrasystole
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Pulmonary edema, asystole, syncope, perioperative arrhythmias, cardiac arrest
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Cardiac failure, pulmonary edema
Frequency not reported: Cardiac arrhythmia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pruritus (up to 28%)
Common (1% to 10%): Transient flush, rash[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pancreatitis, abdominal cramps[Ref]


Rare (Less than 0.1%): Discoloration of the urine following prolonged use[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hepatomegaly[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Anaphylaxis, in some cases with angioedema, bronchospasm, erythema, and hypotension (these reactions have been reported to respond to adrenaline)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pain during injection (burning, tingling/slinging)
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Tissue necrosis following accidental extravascular administration[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Metabolic acidosis, hyperkalemia, hyperlipidemia[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Rhabdomyolysis (when administered at doses greater than 4 mg/kg/hour for ICU sedation)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Paresthesia (up to 74%), excitation phenomena such as involuntary movements, twitches, tremors, hypertonus, hiccup
Common (1% to 10%): Headache, shivering
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Convulsions and seizures of the epileptic type
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Postoperative unconsciousness
Frequency not reported: Involuntary movements[Ref]

Paresthesias (including burning, tingling, stinging) and/or pruritus, usually manifested in the perineal region, were the most frequently recorded adverse reactions in clinical trials. Paresthesias and pruritus generally occurred within 5 minutes after administration of the initial dose and were generally transient and mild to moderate in intensity. The pharmacologic basis of these sensory phenomena is unknown. No pretreatments, including the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, or lidocaine, are known to have an effect on or to reduce the incidence of these sensations.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypoxemia (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Procedural pain (bronchoscopy), transient apnea, cough
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pulmonary edema, hiccough[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Renal failure[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Thrombosis, phlebitis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Diprivan (propofol)." Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, DE.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Not all side effects for Diprivan may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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