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  • Generic Name: (dantrolene sodium)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 03/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Dantrium is a medicine used to control muscle spasms caused by certain conditions (such as spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis). Dantrium is also used to prevent malignant hyperthermia (a rare, life-threatening increase in body temperature caused by anesthesia or surgery).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Dantrium works by relaxing your muscles, thereby relieving symptoms associated with muscle spasms.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Dantrium may help to reduce the frequency of muscle spasms. 

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Dantrium exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may feel a relief in your muscle spasms after you take Dantrium. This is a good indicator that the medicine is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Dantrium can cause serious and life-threatening liver problems. The risk is increased in women, if you are over 35 years, or if you are taking certain other medications. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop symptoms including loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, dark urine, itching, or abdominal (stomach area) tenderness. Also notify your healthcare provider if you do not see an improvement in your condition after 45 days of treatment.

      More common side effects may include: drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling unwell, tiredness, diarrhea.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Dantrium may cause pleural effusion (a buildup of fluid between the lungs and chest).

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Dantrium if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Dantrium if you have active liver disease (such as hepatitis [inflammation of the liver] or cirrhosis [scarring of the liver]).

      Do not take Dantrium if spasticity helps you to maintain upright posture and balance.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Dantrium. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, lung, or liver problems, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Muscle Spasms

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 25 milligrams once a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      Children ≥5 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her body weight.

      Malignant Hyperthermia

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose, based on your body weight.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Dantrium exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Dantrium without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how Dantrium affects you.

      Do not expose your skin to excessive sunlight while you are taking Dantrium.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Dantrium is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Dantrium with the following: certain medications that may make you sleepy (such as alprazolam or clonazepam), estrogen, or heart/blood pressure medications known as calcium channel blockers (such as verapamil).

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Dantrium during pregnancy are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Dantrium. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Dantrium, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
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