Propofol (Diprivan) – Side Effects, Interactions, Uses, Dosage, Warnings

Diprivan is used to help you relax before and during general anesthesia for surgery or other medical procedures.

Diprivan is used in people 16 years or older to sedate those who are under critical care and need a mechanical ventilator (breathing machine).

Diprivan is not recommended for induction of anesthesia in people younger than 3 years and for the maintenance of anesthesia in people younger than 2 months.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized emergency use of Propoven to maintain sedation in people who are 16 years or older on a machine that helps with breathing (ventilator) in the intensive care unit (ICU) during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.

Propofol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


What is Propofol (Diprivan) used for?

  • Anesthesia


What is the most important information I should know about Propofol (Diprivan)?

You should not use propofol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • allergies to peanuts, eggs, egg products, soybeans or soy products.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver or kidney disease;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood).

Anesthesia may affect brain development in a young child or unborn baby (when used in the mother), leading to learning or behavior problems later in life. Long surgeries or repeated procedures pose the highest risks.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Side Effects

What are the side effects of Propofol (Diprivan)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your medical caregivers right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling (like you might pass out) even after feeling awake;
  • weak or shallow breathing; or
  • severe pain or discomfort where the injection is given.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild itching or rash;
  • fast or slow heart rate; or
  • slight burning or stinging around the IV needle.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Can I take Propofol (Diprivan) if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


What drugs and food should I avoid while taking Propofol (Diprivan)?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Dosage Guidelines & Tips

How to take Propofol (Diprivan)?

Use Propofol (Diprivan) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Propofol is injected into a vein by a healthcare provider.

You will relax and fall asleep very quickly after propofol is injected.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely.

What should I do if I missed a dose of Propofol (Diprivan)?

Propofol is used when needed and does not have a daily dosing schedule.

Overdose Signs

What happens if I overdose on Propofol (Diprivan)?

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on: Propofol (Diprivan),  call your doctor or the Poison Control center

(800) 222-1222

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Propofol (Diprivan), call 911


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