Propofol Side Effects
Commonly reported side effects of propofol 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]
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
It is possible that some side effects of propofol may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.
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