Papaverine

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Papaverine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is papaverine used for?

Papaverine is commonly used for treating many conditions that cause spasm of smooth muscle. Papaverine is also used to improve blood flow in patients with circulation problems. It works by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily to the heart and through the body.

Papaverine is not for use in treating erectile dysfunction (impotence) and should not be injected into the penis. This practice has resulted in painful or prolonged erection that may require surgery to correct. Papaverine is also used to treat impotence in men.

How should I take papaverine?

  • Papaverine comes as a tablet and extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken three to five times a day at evenly spaced intervals. The extended-release capsule is usually taken every 8-12 hours. Do not crush, chew, or divide the extended-release capsules. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take papaverine exactly as directed.
  • Papaverine may be habit-forming. Do not take larger doses, take it more often, or for a longer period than your doctor tells you to.
  • Papaverine controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take papaverine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking papaverine without talking to your doctor.

How do I store papaverine?

Papaverine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store papaverine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of papaverine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush papaverine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using papaverine?

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to papaverine or any other drugs.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet) and vitamins.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, an AV block (a heart rhythm disturbance), or glaucoma.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking papaverine, call your doctor.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking papaverine.
  • You should know that this drug may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how it affects you.
  • Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are taking papaverine. Alcohol can make the side effects from papaverine worse.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using papaverine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking papaverine. Papaverine is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk;
  • B=No risk in some studies;
  • C=There may be some risk;
  • D=Positive evidence of risk;
  • X=Contraindicated;
  • N=Unknown.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from papaverine?

  • Flushing (feeling of warmth);
  • Sweating;
  • Headache;
  • Tiredness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Skin rash;
  • Upset stomach;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Constipation;
  • Stomach pain.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with papaverine?

Papaverine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects, such as aspirin, viagra, paracetamol.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with papaverine?

Papaverine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with papaverine?

Papaverine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using papaverine.

What is the dose of papaverine for an adult?

For oral dosage form (extended-release capsules)

150 milligrams (mg) every twelve hours. The dose may be increased to 150 mg every eight hours or 300 mg every twelve hours.

For oral dosage form (tablets)

100 to 300 milligrams (mg) three to five times a day.

For the treatment of erectile dysfunction (injection)

30 to 60 milligrams (mg) injected very slowly into the area of your penis as directed by your doctor. Allow one or two minutes to completely inject the dose. Do not inject more than one dose in a day. Also, do not use this medicine more than two days in a row or more than three times a week.

What is the dose of papaverine for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is papaverine available?

Papaverine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Papaverine Hydrochloride Injection, USP 60 mg/2 ml(30 mg/ml).

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services (115) or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of papaverine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.