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All about: Pavagen

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Generic Name: papaverine (pa PAV uh reen)
Brand Names: Papacon, Para-Time S. R., Pavabid Plateau, Pavacot, Pavagen

What is Pavagen (papaverine)?

Papaverine is in a class of drugs called vasodilators. Papaverine relaxes veins and arteries, which makes them wider and allows blood to pass through them more easily. These actions may help to increase the amount of oxygen-rich blood in your brain, heart, and muscles.

Papaverine may also be useful in treating conditions involving spasms of the intestines and urinary tract.

Papaverine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Pavagen (papaverine)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Papaverine may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities. If you experience dizziness, rise slowly from a sitting or lying position to avoid falling. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking papaverine.

Notify your doctor if you experience especially bothersome sweating, rash, flushing, headache, tiredness, yellowing of your skin, nausea, decreased appetite, diarrhea, or constipation.

Who should not take Pavagen (papaverine)?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • heart disease or irregular heartbeats,

  • liver disease,

  • glaucoma, or

  • Parkinson's disease.

You may not be able to take papaverine, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Papaverine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether papaverine will harm an unborn baby. Do not take papaverine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether papaverine passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Pavagen (papaverine)?

Take papaverine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. The regular-release form of papaverine is usually taken three to five times a day. The timed-release tablets and capsules are usually taken two or three times a day (every 8 to 12 hours). Follow your doctor's instructions. Do not crush, chew, break, or open the timed-release tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release slowly in your body. Store papaverine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a papaverine overdose include drowsiness, weakness, double vision, poor coordination, headache, blue-colored lips or skin, and coma.

What should I avoid while taking Pavagen (papaverine)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Papaverine may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities. If you experience dizziness, rise slowly from a sitting or lying position to avoid falling. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking papaverine. Do not crush, chew, break, or open the timed-release tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole. These are specially formulated to release slowly in your body.

Pavagen (papaverine) side effects

Stop taking papaverine and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

Stop taking papaverine and contact your doctor if your skin or eyes develop a yellow tint.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take papaverine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • nausea, decreased appetite, diarrhea, or constipation;

  • dizziness or drowsiness;

  • headache;

  • sweating and flushing;

  • a rash; or

  • irregular heartbeats.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Pavagen (papaverine)?

Papaverine may decrease the effects of levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa) which is used to treat Parkinson's disease. You may need a change in your levodopa dosage if you are taking levodopa.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with papaverine or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about papaverine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Papaverine is available with a prescription generically and under many brand names. It is available in timed-release tablets and capsules as well as in regular-release formulations. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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.
  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:00:54 PM.

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