Parenteral Manual

Papaverine hydrochloride (NON-FORMULARY)

Disclaimer: Official controlled document is the CHEO online copy. It is the responsibility of user to ensure that any paper copy version is the same as the online version before use.

Original Date: 
August 2005
  • Relief of cerebral and peripheral ischemia associated with arterial spasm
Reconstitution and Stability: 
  • Stable at room temperature;  DO NOT refrigerate
  • Protect from light
  • Solution is clear and colourless to pale yellow

- Solutions Compatible: dextrose solutions up to D10W, 0.9% NaCl, dextrose-saline combinations, ringer's solution

- Additive/Above Cassette Compatible: no information

- Y-site Compatible: no information

Incompatible: ringer's lactate (precipitate forms), alkaline solutions, aminophylline


(For approved routes of administration by nursing personnel, refer to Policy for the Administration of Intravenous Medications.)

IV Direct

Usual dilution: undiluted or dilute in equal volume of SWI
Infusion time: 1-2 minutes

IV Intermittant Infusion NO
IV Continuous Infusion NO

(For neonatal dosages, refer to Neonatal IV Drug Manual.)


  • 1.5 mg/kg/dose IM/IV QID


  • 30-120 mg IM/IV, may repeat q3h PRN
Potential hazards of parenteral administration: 
  • Rapid IV administration may result in arrhythmias and apnea
  • Thrombophlebitis at site of injection
  • Flushing of face, tachycardia, hypotension
  • Drowsiness, vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Caution in patients with glaucoma; monitor intraocular pressure
  • Should not be used in neonates due to the increased risk of drug-induced cerebral vasodilation and possibility of an intracranial bleed.

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