|Trade names||Dopram, Stimulex, Respiram, others|
|Other names||Doxapram hydrochloride|
|Drug class||Respiratory stimulant|
|Main uses||Respiratory depression, acute respiratory failure|
|Side effects||Cough, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, high blood pressure, flushing, sweating, vomiting, muscle spasms|
|Onset of action||30 sec|
|Duration of action||5 to 12 min|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||378.516 g·mol−1|
Doxapram, sold under the brand name Dopram among others, is a medication used to treat respiratory depression after surgery or acute respiratory failure. It is not; however, a preferred treatment. It is given by injection into a vein. Effects generally occur around 30 seconds and last for around 10 minutes.
Common side effects include cough, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, high blood pressure, flushing, sweating, vomiting, and muscle spasms. Other side effects may include QT prolongation, seizure, and red blood cell breakdown. While there is no evidence of harm in pregnancy, the manufacturer does not recommend. It is a respiratory stimulant.
Doxapram was approved for medical use in the United States in 1965. It is available as a generic medication. In the United Kingdom 5 vials of 100 mg costs the NHS about £130 as of 2021. This amount in the United States is about 72 USD.
Doxapram is used in intensive care settings to stimulate the respiratory rate in patients with respiratory failure. It may be useful for treating respiratory depression in patients who have taken excessive doses of drugs such as buprenorphine or fentanyl analogues which may fail to respond adequately to treatment with naloxone.
Side effects include high blood pressure, panic attacks, rapid heart rate, tremor, sweating, and vomiting. Convulsions have been reported. Its use is relatively contraindicated in people with coronary heart disease, epilepsy, and high blood pressure. It is also contraindicated in newborns and small children, mainly due to the presence of benzyl alcohol, which is included as a preservative.
Mechanism of action
Doxapram is a white to off-white, odorless, crystalline powder that is stable in light and air. It is soluble in water, sparingly soluble in alcohol and practically insoluble in ether. Injectable products have a pH from 3.5-5. Benzyl alcohol or chlorobutanol is added as a preservative agent in the commercially available injections.
- Pentethylcyclanone (similar structure)
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