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All about: Dantrium

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Generic Name: dantrolene (DAN troe lean)
Brand Names: Dantrium

What is Dantrium (dantrolene)?

Dantrolene is a muscle relaxant. It works by directly affecting the ability of your muscles to contract (stiffen).

Dantrolene is used to treat muscle spasticity (stiffness and spasms) caused by conditions such as a spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis.

Dantrolene is also used to prevent the development of malignant hyperthermia (a rapid rise in body temperature) and stiff muscles caused by anesthesia during or after surgery.

Although not approved by the FDA for these uses, dantrolene has also been used to treat exercise-induced muscle pain, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and heat stroke.

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

What is the most important information I should know about Dantrium (dantrolene)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Dantrolene may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking dantrolene.

Weakness in grip, leg muscles, and swallowing may occur. Use caution, especially when climbing stairs and eating meals.

What should I discuss with ny healthcare provider before taking Dantrium (dantrolene)?

Do not take dantrolene if you have a liver disease such as hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you

  • have a breathing or lung disease,

  • have heart disease, or

  • have had liver disease in the past.

You may need special monitoring during your therapy with dantrolene if you have any of these conditions.

Dantrolene is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether dantrolene will harm an unborn baby. Do not take dantrolene without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is also not known whether dantrolene passes into breast milk. Do not take dantrolene without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Dantrolene is not approved for use by children younger than 5 years of age.

How should I take Dantrium (dantrolene)?

Take dantrolene 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. Store dantrolene 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 dantrolene overdose include muscle weakness, drowsiness, unconsciousness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking Dantrium (dantrolene)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Dantrolene may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking dantrolene.

Weakness in grip, leg muscles, and swallowing may occur. Use caution, especially when climbing stairs and eating meals, to prevent falls and choking.

Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Dantrolene may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

Dantrium (dantrolene) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking dantrolene and seek emergency medical attention:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • a rash or itching;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools or severe diarrhea;

  • yellow skin or eyes; or

  • seizures.

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

  • drowsiness, dizziness, weakness or fatigue;

  • diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, or decreased appetite;

  • difficulty swallowing (use caution to prevent choking);

  • headache or insomnia;

  • depression or confusion;

  • blurred or abnormal vision; or

  • increased urination.

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 Dantrium (dantrolene)?

Dantrolene may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and other muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine unless your doctor approves.

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

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about dantrolene written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Dantrolene is available with a prescription under the brand name Dantrium. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Dantrium 25 mg--orange/light-brown capsules

  • Dantrium 50 mg--orange/dark-brown capsules

  • Dantrium 100 mg--orange/light-brown capsules

  • 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: 3.07. Revision Date: 7/29/04 4:23:13 PM.

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