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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Diprivan

Generic Name: propofol (Pronunciation: PROE poe fol)

What is propofol (Diprivan)?

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 are the possible side effects of propofol (Diprivan)?

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.

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 is the most important information I should know about propofol (Diprivan)?

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.

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).

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.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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