Papaverine - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Papaverine: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Papaverine ?

The name is derived from the Latin name “papaver” for poppy. It is an opiate alkaloid obtained naturally from the plant Papaver somniferum and also produced naturally. Though not similar to other opiated alkaloids.It acts directly as a relaxant on smooth muscles. It is used to treat all types of smooth muscle spasms. Its mode of action is through  direct inhibition of calcium channels and  non-selective inhibition of phosphodiesterases

What are the uses of Papaverine?

Some uses and benefits are

  1. Used as a vasodilator as it relaxes smooth muscles of blood vessels.
  2. Reduces blood pressure and allows easy flow of blood in arteries and veins.
  3. Treating conditions caused by muscular spasms such as circulation problems,disorders of the stomach and gallbladder.
  4. Heart attack.
  5. Used to treat erectile dysfunction. It dilates smooth muscles of blood vessels and increases blood flow to the penis helping in erection.
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What are the side effects of Papaverine?

Some of the common side effects of pseudoephedrine include:

  • Uneven heartbeat or fast pounding heart
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Skin rash
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach discomfort

 Serious side effects of papaverine include:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Blurred vision, severe headache,
  • Vision  changes
  • Blurred vision, severe headache, shortness of breath
  • Swelling, pain, or redness in area of injection
  • Warm tingling and reddening of the skin
  • Restless feeling or excitation (mainly in children) 
  • Loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin).

Medical attention is not needed for these common side effects, but contact our experts in case of serious problems such as severe allergic reactions such as swelling of throat,lips,tongue and face,hives.


Frequently Asked Questions about Papaverine

1. Is Papaverine used for erectile dysfunction?

Yes, Papaverine has been used to treat erectile dysfunction. Papaverine is used to produce erections. It is injected into the penis. Erections occur as a result of blood flow to the penis.

2. What is the action of papaverine ?

Papaverine acts on smooth and cardiac muscles similar to quinidine. It acts on heart muscles directly and increases the refractory period and depresses conduction. Various smooth muscles are relaxed. In the case of spasm, relaxation is prominent. It inhibits phosphodiesterase and increases cAMP levels. Its vasodilatory effects influence both peripheral and coronary circulations.

3. Does Papaverine help with pain?

Papaverine, a vasodilator, is a very efficient pain reliever, especially used to relieve spasms of the gallbladder, stomach, or urinary tract. It exerts direct spasmolytic action on the smooth muscles of the bladder. It helps in the reduction of acute renal colic pain and serves as an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

4. Is papaverine an antagonist?

Papaverine inhibits the PDE enzyme which increases cGMP in penile tissues. Papaverine causes corporal fibrosis due to low acidity. It is an alpha-receptor antagonist which increases blood flow in arteries. Major adverse effects include tachycardia and systemic hypotension. It exhibits a competitive against both Ca2 and norepinephrine

5. Is Papaverine safe in pregnancy ?

When prescribed with papaverine, the doctor should be informed if you are pregnant or if you are planning on pregnancy. Five categories have been made based on the safety of medicine during pregnancy by the FDA. In A, B, C, D, and X categories Papaverine is included in the C category. No proper evidence is available whether it affects pregnant ladies. so not recommended for pregnant ladies.

6. Does papaverine need to be refrigerated?

No, Papaverine does not need refrigeration. They are available in powder form and are mixed before administering. It is given in combination with Papaverine and phentolamine(bimix).

7. Is Papaverine an anticholinergic?

Yes, decongestants like Pseudoephedrine increase blood sugar levels. They prevent insulin secretion, glucose uptake is reduced from blood, and the body's reserve store of glycogen is broken down and used. So it is not the preferred medicine for diabetics.

8. Can I take papaverine while breastfeeding ?

There are not many studies that have proven that papaverine has any significant effect on breastfeeding during medication. If the medicine has to be taken, pros and cons have to be studied and only if the benefits are more than risks, this medication can be taken.

9. Can I consume alcohol with papaverine ?

Papaverine is a vasodilator that treats various spasms. Papaverine might alter thinking or reactions. So be careful if you do not take it while driving or doing work that requires concentration. Consuming alcohol along with papaverine is not recommended as it increases the risk of side effects.

10. Can I drive if I have consumed Papaverine ?

Papaverine belongs to a class of medicines that dilate the blood vessels (vasodilators ). They relax smooth muscles . It affects thinking and judgment .So it is not recommended to consume papaverine while driving.



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      Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.