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Neostigmine has been associated with bradycardia. Atropine sulfate or glycopyrrolate should be administered prior to BLOXIVERZ to lessen the risk of bradycardia [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Serious Adverse Reactions In Patients With Certain Coexisting Conditions

BLOXIVERZ should be used with caution in patients with coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, recent acute coronary syndrome or myasthenia gravis. Because of the known pharmacology of neostigmine methylsulfate as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, cardiovascular effects such as bradycardia, hypotension or dysrhythmia would be anticipated. In patients with certain cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias or recent acute coronary syndrome, the risk of blood pressure and heart rate complications may be increased. Risk of these complications may also be increased in patients with myasthenia gravis. Standard antagonism with anticholinergics (e.g., atropine) is generally successful to mitigate the risk of cardiovascular complications.


Because of the possibility of hypersensitivity, atropine and medications to treat anaphylaxis should be readily available.

Neuromuscular Dysfunction

Large doses of BLOXIVERZ administered when neuromuscular blockade is minimal can produce neuromuscular dysfunction. The dose of BLOXIVERZ should be reduced if recovery from neuromuscular blockade is nearly complete.

Cholinergic Crisis

It is important to differentiate between myasthenic crisis and cholinergic crisis caused by overdosage of BLOXIVERZ. Both conditions result in extreme muscle weakness but require radically different treatment. [see OVERDOSAGE]

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility


Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of neostigmine.


Neostigmine methylsulfate was not mutagenic or clastogenic when evaluated in an in vitro bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames test), an in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell chromosomal aberration assay, or an in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay.

Impairment of Fertility

In a fertility and early embryonic development study in rats, male rats were treated for 28 days prior to mating and female rats were treated for 14 days prior to mating with intravenous neostigmine methylsulfate (human equivalent doses of 1.6, 4, and 8.1 mcg/kg/day, based on body surface area). No adverse effects were reported at any dose (up to 0.1-times the MRHD of 5 mg/60 kg person based on a body surface area comparison).

Use In Specific Populations


Risk Summary

There are no adequate or well-controlled studies of BLOXIVERZ in pregnant women. It is not known whether BLOXIVERZ can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity. The incidence of malformations in human pregnancies has not been established for neostigmine as the data are limited. All pregnancies, regardless of drug exposure, have a background risk of 2 to 4% for major birth defects, and 15 to 20% for pregnancy loss.

No adverse effects were noted in rats or rabbits treated with human equivalent doses of neostigmine methylsulfate doses up to 8.1 and 13 mcg/kg/day, respectively, during organogenesis (0.1 to 0.2-times the maximum recommended human dose of 5 mg/60 kg person/day based on body surface area comparisons).

Anticholinesterase drugs, including neostigmine may cause uterine irritability and induce premature labor when administered to pregnant women near term.

BLOXIVERZ should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.


Animal Data

In embryofetal development studies, rats and rabbits were administered neostigmine methylsulfate at human equivalent doses (HED, on a mg/m² basis) of 1.6, 4 and 8.1 mcg/kg/day 3.2, 8.1, and 13 mcg/kg/day, respectively, during the period of organogenesis (Gestation Days 6 through 17 for rats and Gestation Days 6 through 18 for rabbits). There was no evidence for a teratogenic effect in rats and rabbits up to HED 8.1 and 13 mcg/kg/day, which are approximately 0.097-times and 0.16-times the MRHD of 5 mg/60 kg, respectively in the presence of minimal maternal toxicity (tremors, ataxia, and prostration). The studies resulted in exposures in the animals well below predicted exposures in humans.

In a pre- and postnatal development study in rats, neostigmine methylsulfate was administered to pregnant female rats at human equivalent doses (HED) of 1.6, 4 and 8.1 mcg/kg/day from Day 6 of gestation through Day 20 of lactation, with weaning on Day 21. There were no adverse effects on physical development, behavior, learning ability, or fertility in the offspring occurred at HED doses up 8.1 mcg/kg/day which is 0.097-times the MRHD of 5 mg/60 kg on a mg/m² basis in the presence of minimal maternal toxicity (tremors, ataxia, and prostration). The studies resulted in exposures in the animals well below predicted exposures in humans.

Labor And Delivery

The effect of BLOXIVERZ on the mother and fetus with regard to labor, delivery, the need for forceps delivery or other intervention or resuscitation of the newborn, is not known.

Cholinesterase inhibitor drugs may induce premature labor when given intravenously to pregnant women near term.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether neostigmine methylsulfate is excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when BLOXIVERZ is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

BLOXIVERZ is approved for the reversal of the effects of non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents after surgery in pediatric patients of all ages.

Recovery of neuromuscular activity occurs more rapidly with smaller doses of cholinesterase inhibitors in infants and children than in adults. However, infants and small children may be at greater risk of complications from incomplete reversal of neuromuscular blockade due to decreased respiratory reserve. The risks associated with incomplete reversal outweigh any risk from giving higher doses of BLOXIVERZ (up to 0.07 mg/kg or up to a total of 5 mg, whichever is less).

The dose of BLOXIVERZ required to reverse neuromuscular blockade in children varies between 0.03 mg - 0.07 mg/kg, the same dose range shown to be effective in adults, and should be selected using the same criteria as used for adult patients. [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

Since the blood pressure in pediatric patients, particularly infants and neonates, is sensitive to changes in heart rate, the effects of an anticholinergic agent (e.g., atropine) should be observed prior to administration of neostigmine to lessen the probability of bradycardia and hypotension.

Geriatric Use

Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, BLOXIVERZ should be used with caution and monitored for a longer period in elderly patients. The duration of action of neostigmine methylsulfate is prolonged in the elderly; however, elderly patients also experience slower spontaneous recovery from neuromuscular blocking agents. Therefore, dosage adjustments are not generally needed in geriatric patients; however, they should be monitored for longer periods than younger adults to assure additional doses of BLOXIVERZ are not required. The duration of monitoring should be predicated on the anticipated duration of action for the NMBA used on the patient. [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Renal Impairment

Elimination half-life of neostigmine methylsulfate was prolonged in anephric patients compared to normal subjects.

Although no adjustments to BLOXIVERZ dosing appear to be warranted in patients with impaired renal function, they should be closely monitored to assure the effects of the neuromuscular blocking agent, particularly one cleared by the kidneys, do not persist beyond those of BLOXIVERZ. In this regard, the interval for re-dosing the neuromuscular blocking agent during the surgical procedure may be useful in determining whether, and to what extent, post-operative monitoring needs to be extended.

Hepatic Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of neostigmine methylsulfate in patients with hepatic impairment have not been studied. Neostigmine methylsulfate is metabolized by microsomal enzymes in the liver. No adjustments to the dosing of BLOXIVERZ appear to be warranted in patients with hepatic insufficiency. However, patients should be carefully monitored if hepatically cleared neuromuscular blocking agents were used during their surgical procedure as their duration of action may be prolonged by hepatic insufficiency whereas BLOXIVERZ, which undergoes renal elimination, will not likely be affected. This could result in the effects of the neuromuscular blocking agent outlasting those of BLOXIVERZ. This same situation may arise if the neuromuscular blocking agent has active metabolites. In this regard, the interval for re-dosing the neuromuscular blocking agent during the surgical procedure may be useful in determining whether, and to what extent, post-operative monitoring needs to be extended.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/30/2015


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