Health Encyclopedia > Medications

propofol

Pronunciation: PROE poe fol

Brand: Diprivan

What is the most important information I should know about propofol?

Multum donot

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to propofol or to eggs, soy products, or soybeans.

Before you receive propofol, tell your doctor if you have epilepsy or other seizure disorder, high triglycerides (fats in the blood), liver disease, or kidney disease.

Your caregivers will monitor your heart function, blood pressure, and breathing while you are under the effects of propofol.

Multum emt

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as seizure, weak or shallow breathing, fast or slow heart rate, or pain, swelling, blisters, or skin changes where the medicine was injected.

Before you receive propofol, tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially chloral hydrate (Somnote), droperidol (Inapsine), a sedative, or a narcotic pain medication such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic).

Multum dizzy

Propofol can cause severe drowsiness or dizziness, which may last for several hours. You will need someone to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert for at least 24 hours after you have been treated with propofol.

What is propofol?

Propofol slows the activity of your brain and nervous system.

Propofol is used to help you relax before and during general anesthesia for surgery or other medical procedure. Propofol is also used in critically ill patients who require a breathing tube connected to a ventilator (a machine that moves air in and out of the lungs when a person cannot breathe on their own).

Propofol may be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive propofol?

Multum donot

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to propofol or to eggs, soy products, or soybeans.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication. Before you receive propofol, tell your doctor if you have:

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • high triglycerides (fats in the blood);
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category B. Propofol is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, tell your doctor if you are pregnant before you are treated with propofol.

Multum nobrfeed

Propofol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is propofol given?

Propofol is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a hospital or surgical setting.

You will relax and fall asleep very quickly after propofol is injected.

Your caregivers will monitor your heart function, blood pressure, and breathing while you are under the effects of propofol.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since propofol is given by a healthcare professional in a controlled setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of propofol is unlikely to occur since the medication is given by a healthcare professional. Your vital signs will be closely watched while you are under anesthesia to make sure the medication is not causing any harmful effects.

What should I avoid after receiving propofol?

Multum dizzy

Propofol can cause severe drowsiness or dizziness, which may last for several hours. You will need someone to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert for at least 24 hours after you have been treated with propofol.

What are the possible side effects of propofol?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum emt

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pain, swelling, blisters, or skin changes where the medicine was injected;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • weak or shallow breathing; or
  • fast or slow heart rate.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • cough;
  • slight burning or stinging around the IV needle;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • confusion, agitation, anxiety;
  • muscle pain; or
  • discolored urine.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect propofol?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • chloral hydrate (Somnote);
  • droperidol (Inapsine);
  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
  • diazepam (Valium) or similar medicines such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), and others; or
  • a narcotic medication such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Palladone), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph, and others), oxycodone (OxyContin), oxymorphone (Numorphan, Opana), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with propofol. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about propofol.


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.

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