Droperidol Recall

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Questions & Answers

Side Effects & Adverse Reactions

Droperidol should be administered with extreme caution in the presence of risk factors for development of prolonged QT syndrome, such as: 1) clinically significant bradycardia (less than 50 bpm), 2) any clinically significant cardiac disease, 3) treatment with Class I and Class III antiarrhythmics, 4) treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI's), 5) concomitant treatment with other drug products known to prolong the QT interval (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions), and 6) electrolyte imbalance, in particular hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia, or concomitant treatment with drugs (e.g., diuretics) that may cause electrolyte imbalance.

Effects on Cardiac Conduction:

A dose-dependent prolongation of the QT interval was observed within 10 minutes of droperidol administration in a study of 40 patients without known cardiac disease who underwent extracranial head and neck surgery. Significant QT prolongation was observed at all three dose levels evaluated, with 0.1, 0.175, and 0.25 mg/kg associated with prolongation of median QTc by 37,44, and 59 msec, respectively.

Cases of QT prolongation and serious arrhythmias (e.g., torsade de pointes, ventricular arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and death) have been observed during post-marketing treatment with droperidol. Some cases have occurred in patients with no known risk factors and at doses at or below recommended doses. There has been at least one case of nonfatal torsade de pointes confirmed by rechallenge.

Based on these reports, all patients should undergo a 12-lead ECG prior to administration of droperidol to determine if a prolonged QT interval (i.e., QTc greater than 440 msec for males or 450 msec for females) is present. If there is a prolonged QT interval, droperidol should NOT be administered. For patients in whom the potential benefit of droperidol treatment is felt to outweigh the risks of potentially serious arrhythmias, ECG monitoring should be performed prior to treatment and continued for 2-3 hours after completing treatment to monitor for arrhythmias.


As with other CNS depressant drugs, patients who have received droperidol should have appropriate surveillance.

It is recommended that opioids, when required, initially be used in reduced doses.

As with other neuroleptic agents, very rare reports of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (altered consciousness, muscle rigidity and autonomic instability) have occurred in patients who have received droperidol.

Since it may be difficult to distinguish neuroleptic malignant syndrome from malignant hyperpyrexia in the perioperative period, prompt treatment with dantrolene should be considered if increases in temperature, heart rate or carbon dioxide production occur.

Legal Issues

There is currently no legal information available for this drug.

FDA Safety Alerts

There are currently no FDA safety alerts available for this drug.

Manufacturer Warnings

There is currently no manufacturer warning information available for this drug.

FDA Labeling Changes

There are currently no FDA labeling changes available for this drug.


Droperidol Injection is indicated to reduce the incidence of nausea and vomiting associated with surgical and diagnostic procedures.


There is currently no drug history available for this drug.

Other Information

Droperidol Injection, USP, is a sterile, non-pyrogenic, aqueous solution for intravenous or intramuscular use only.

Each mL contains:

Droperidol…………………………………….2.5 mg

Water for Injection………………………........q.s.

pH adjusted between 3.0 and 3.8 with lactic acid and, if necessary, with sodium hydroxide.

Droperidol is a neuroleptic (tranquilizer) agent. Chemically it is 1-(1-[3-(p-fluorobenzoyl)propyl]-1,2,3,6-tetrahydro-4-pyridyl)-2-benzimidazolinone and the structural formula is:


Droperidol Manufacturers

  • Cardinal Health
    Droperidol Injection, Solution [Cardinal Health]
  • General Injectables & Vaccines, Inc
    Droperidol Injection, Solution [General Injectables & Vaccines, Inc]
  • Hospira, Inc.
    Droperidol Injection, Solution [Hospira, Inc.]
  • American Regent, Inc.
    Droperidol Injection, Solution [American Regent, Inc.]

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