Dantrium

1 What is Dantrium?

Brand: Dantrium

Generic: Dantrolene

Brand name:

Dantrium.

Dantrolene is used in the treatment of muscle spasms that are caused by upper motor neuron disorders including multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and stroke.

This medicine helps relax the muscles but does not cure the condition. It does, however, facilitate better physical rehabilitation outcomes.

Oral dantrolene is also indicated for the symptomatic prevention of malignant hyperthermia in pre-op patients who are susceptible to the condition.

Symptoms include fast and irregular heartbeat, high fever, and breathing problems. You can only buy oral dantrolene with a prescription. It is sold as in capsule form.

2 What to Know Before Using

You and your doctor need to discuss the pros and cons of using oral dantrolene before beginning treatment. In order to ensure that dantrolene is appropriate for your condition, you need to consider some factors first.

You should not use this medicine if you have had allergic reactions to it or any of its ingredients. You need to tell your medical provider if you have allergies to food, animals, preservatives and other medications.

The effects of dantrolene in children younger than 5 years old have not been studies. You need to consider the risks and benefits carefully. Dantrolene should be used with caution in elderly patients.

Although there hasn’t been enough research done on the effects of dantrolene in geriatric patients, decreases in hepatic, renal, or cardiac function should be considered before initializing treatment.

Oral dantrolene is a pregnancy category C and should only be used in pregnant women if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. Breastfeeding women should not take oral dantrolene.

Concomitant use of the following medications is usually not recommended but can be necessary at times:

  • alfentanil
  • alprazolam
  • amlodipine
  • amobarbital
  • butabarbital
  • butalbital
  • chloral hydrate
  • chlorzoxazone
  • clevidipine
  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • ethchlorvynol
  • flurazepam
  • hydromorphone
  • lorazepam
  • medazepam
  • mephobarbital
  • methocarbamol
  • midazolam
  • nifedipine
  • nitrazepam
  • pentobarbital
  • primidone, remifentanil
  • sodium oxybate
  • temazepam
  • triazolam
  • verapamil

Give your physician a list of all your current medications.

Also, you should tell your doctor if you have the following medical conditions: heart disease, active and history of liver disease, lung disease, and muscle spasms caused by rheumatic disorders.

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3 Proper Usage

You must take your oral dantrolene as directed by your physician. You can take it with or without food but do not increase the dose or the duration of treatment.

The dose and timing of oral dantrolene depend on the condition being treated. For malignant hyperthermia prevention, adults may take 25 mg once a day.

The dose may be adjusted by your healthcare provider. For muscle spasm relief, adult patients initially should take 25 mg daily. Your doctor may adjust your dose to not more than 100 mg four times daily.

The dose for children will depend on their body weight. Take a missed dose as soon as you remember. However, you should just skip it and resume normal timing if it’s almost time for the next one.

Do not double dose. Store oral dantrolene in a closed container at room temperature and away from children’s reach. Throw away expired dantrolene capsules.

4 Precautions to Take

Go to all of your follow-up appointments so that your condition can be monitored. Dantrolene can affect the liver, so the liver function must be regularly checked especially if you’re taking dantrolene on a long-term basis.

You should not get pregnant while taking dantrolene. If you suspect that you have become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. You also need to inform your healthcare provider if you need to start new medications.

Inform your healthcare team including your pharmacist and dentist that you are currently taking dantrolene.

You should not engage in activities that need concentration like driving or operating machines while you are on dantrolene because it can cause drowsiness, weakness, and dizziness.

You should not drink alcoholic beverages while on dantrolene treatment because alcohol can increase the drowsiness effect of dantrolene.

You should also avoid taking CNS depressants like anti-anxiety medications. If you take these substances while you are on dantrolene treatment, you might experience increased CNS depression.

This medicine also makes your skin more sensitive to light. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and use a sunscreen when you go out.

5 Potential Side Effects

Dantrolene has various associated side effects but you may not experience all of them.

You should consult your physician right away if you have the following:

  • black/tarry stools
  • bloody/dark urine
  • bluish discoloration of the skin
  • speech changes
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • seizures
  • difficulty in moving
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • joint pain
  • lightheadedness
  • mental depression
  • nausea and vomiting
  • painful urination
  • shortness of breath
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • swelling of foot or leg
  • unusual weakness
  • upper right abdominal pain
  • yellow discoloration of eyes or skin

Common side effects that may not need medical treatment include diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.

Contact your doctor right away if you experience other unusual side effects.

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