This medication is used to increase blood flow throughout the body, including the heart and the brain. Papaverine is a vasodilator. It works by relaxing the muscles in the blood vessels.
Papaverine is also an antiarrhythmic medication that treats certain abnormal heartbeats (ventricular arrhythmias). It works by blocking the abnormal electrical activity in the heart so a normal heart beat can return. It may also help the heart beat better by increasing the blood flow to the heart.
Take this medication by mouth, usually every 8 to 12 hours or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush or chew the capsules. Doing so can destroy the long action of the drug and may increase side effects.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Dizziness, drowsiness, warm/red face (flushing), sweating, headache, or nausea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. To lower your risk of serious side effects, follow your doctor's directions and keep all medical/lab appointments.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/irregular heartbeat, vision changes (e.g., blurred/double vision).
Papaverine has rarely caused very serious liver disease. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of liver disease, including persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking papaverine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain heart problem (atrioventricular block), Parkinson's disease.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: glaucoma, irregular heartbeat, liver problems.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: rapid breathing, extreme drowsiness, very fast heartbeat.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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