Dantrium

Generic Name: Dantrolene

  • What is Dantrium?

    Dantrium is used to treat spasticity from certain neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis. It is also used to prevent or treat malignant hyperthermia, which occurs in some people after surgery or anesthesia and involves high fever, fast and irregular heartbeat, and breathing problems.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Dantrium?

    Dantrium taken at higher doses may be toxic to your liver. Women, adults >35 years of age, and patients taking other medications in addition to Dantrium appear to have a greater risk of liver injury. When taking Dantrium, have your liver function monitored before starting therapy and regularly while on therapy.

    While on Dantrium, be cautious about driving a car or using heavy machinery, or anything that requires mental alertness. Caution is advised if you take Dantrium and tranquilizing agents, or alcohol, as they may intensify the side effects by making you drowsier. There is a possibility that Dantrium can cause a photosensitive reaction, so be careful when you go out into the sun. If you can, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen.

  • Who should not take Dantrium?

    Do not take Dantrium if you have liver disease, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Do not take Dantrium if you are breastfeeding or if spasticity helps you obtain or maintain posture and balance.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Dantrium?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Dantrium. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart disease, lung disease, and previous or active liver disease. Tell your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction to dantrolene, or to other ingredients in Dantrium, and if you think you may be pregnant, are pregnant, or if you plan to get pregnant. You should also tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    To Relieve Spasms

    Adults: The initial adult dose of Dantrium is 25 milligrams (mg) once a day for the first 7 days, then 25 mg three times a day for 7 days, then 50 mg three times a day for 7 days, then 100 mg three times a day. Some people may need to take Dantrium four times a day. Doses higher than 100 mg four times daily should not be used. Your doctor will determine a maintenance dose appropriate for you.

    Children: The appropriate dose of Dantrium depends on the child's weight. Ask your doctor what dose is appropriate for your child.

    To Prevent or Treat Malignant Hyperthermia (Preoperatively)

    Adults: Administer 4-8 mg/kg/day in three to four divided doses for 1 or 2 days prior to surgery, with the last dose being given approximately 3-4 hours before surgery with a minimum of water. This dosage will usually be associated with skeletal muscle weakness and sleepiness or drowsiness. Adjustments can usually be made to avoid side effects.

    To Prevent Recurrence of Malignant Hyperthermia (Post-crisis follow-up)

    Adults: 4 to 8 mg/kg/day in four divided doses, for 1 to 3 days, to prevent another crisis.

    Your dose will depend on your weight. Ask your doctor what dose is appropriate for you and how you should take Dantrium.

  • How should I take Dantrium?

    Take this medication exactly as prescribed. If benefits are not evident within 45 days, talk with your doctor about discontinuing treatment.

  • What should I avoid while taking Dantrium?

    Do not drive or participate in hazardous activities after taking Dantrium because it which may cause you to feel drowsy. Since Dantrium may make you more sensitive to sunlight, take precautions when going outdoors, and avoid artificial tanning.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Dantrium?

    If Dantrium is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Dantrium with central nervous system depressants such as sedatives and tranquilizing agents; verapamil or other calcium channel blocker medications; and estrogen-containing pills.

  • What are the possible side effects of Dantrium?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, general discomfort, fatigue, diarrhea

  • Can I receive Dantrium if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Dantrium during pregnancy are unknown. Dantrium should only be used in pregnancy if the potential benefits justify the potential risks to the fetus. Dantrium should not be used in nursing mothers. Talk with your doctor before taking this drug if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Nursing mothers should not take this drug.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Dantrium?

    If you miss a dose of Dantrium, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at the same time. It is important for you to take Dantrium as directed, especially prior to certain procedures. Notify your doctor if you are still not sure what to do.

  • How should I store Dantrium?

    Store at room temperature and avoid excessive heat.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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