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Propofol Side 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

Cardiovascular

Very common (10% or more): Hypotension (75%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension, bradycardia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, atrioventricular heart block, bigeminy, bundle branch block, cardiac arrest, ECG abnormal, edema, extrasystole, heart block, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia, premature ventricular contractions, ST segment depression, supraventricular tachycardia, tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, extrasystole, syncope, chest pain, right heart failure

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Pulmonary edema, asystole, syncope, perioperative arrhythmias, cardiac arrest

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Cardiac failure

Frequency not reported: Cardiac arrhythmia[Ref]

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Pruritus (28%)

Common (1% to 10%): Transient flush, rash

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Conjunctival hyperemia, diaphoresis, urticaria[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersalivation, cramping, diarrhea, dry mouth, enlarged parotid, nausea, impaired swallowing, vomiting, ileus

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pancreatitis, abdominal cramps[Ref]

Genitourinary

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary retention oliguria

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

Hepatic

Frequency not reported: Hepatomegaly[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

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]

Local

Common (1% to 10%): Pain during injection (e.g., burning, tingling/slinging)

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Tissue necrosis following accidental extravascular administration

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hives/itching, phlebitis, redness/discoloration[Ref]

Metabolic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): BUN Increased, creatinine increased, dehydration, hyperglycemia, metabolic acidosis, osmolality increased

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

Musculoskeletal

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pain in extremities, trunk pain, whole body weakness, pain in extremities, neck rigidity/stiffness

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

Nervous system

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): Paresthesia (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]

Respiratory

Very common (10% or more): Hypoxemia (11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Procedural pain (bronchoscopy), transient apnea, cough, respiratory acidosis during weaning

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bronchospasm, burning in throat, cough, dyspnea, hiccough, hyperventilation, hypoventilation, hypoxia, laryngospasm, pharyngitis, sneezing, tachypnea, upper airway obstruction, apnea

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pulmonary edema[Ref]

Renal

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

Hematologic

Common (1% to 10%): Thrombosis, phlebitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hemorrhage, coagulation disorder, leukocytosis[Ref]

Immunologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sepsis[Ref]

Ocular

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diplopia, eye pain, nystagmus[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Elation/euphoria

Frequency not reported: Drug abuse and dependence[Ref]

Other

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Fever, anticholinergic syndrome, ear pain, taste perversion, tinnitus[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Propofol (propofol)." Hospira Inc, Lake Forest, IL.

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

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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