propofol

Pronunciation: PROE poe fol

Brand: Diprivan, Propoven

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

Before you receive propofol, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and allergies. Also make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. In some cases, you may not be able to use 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 procedures. 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 also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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

You should not receive propofol if you are allergic to it.

To make sure propofol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood).

FDA pregnancy category B. Propofol is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Propofol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

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 breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely 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 medical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving propofol?

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?

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.

Tell your caregiver right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling (like you might pass out) even after feeling awake;
  • weak or shallow breathing; or
  • severe pain or discomfort where the injection is given.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild itching or rash;
  • fast or slow heart rate; or
  • slight burning or stinging around the IV needle.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect propofol?

Taking other medicines that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can worsen these effects. After you have been treated with propofol, ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with propofol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

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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