November 29, 2015
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Bretylium Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Bretylium (bretylium tosylate) injection is an antiarrhythmic drug used in emergency medicine, cardiology, and other specialties for treatment of severely abnormal heart rhythm (ventricular fibrillation) and fast heartbeat (tachycardia). Bretylium has been discontinued, but generics may be available. Common side effects include dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness.

Bretylium is administered by intravenous or intramuscular injection in life-threatening emergencies by a physician. Bretylium may interact with other drugs. If you are able, tell your doctor all medications and supplements you take. Bretylium should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Bretylium (bretylium tosylate) Side Effects Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Bretylium FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Hypotension and postural hypotension have been the most frequently reported adverse reactions (See WARNINGS section). Nausea and vomiting occurred in about three percent of patients, primarily when bretylium (bretylium tosylate injection ) tosylate was administered rapidly by the intravenous route (See PRECAUTIONS section). Vertigo, dizziness, light-headedness and syncope, which sometimes accompanied postural hypotension, were reported in about 7 patients in 1000.

Bradycardia, increased frequency of premature ventricular contractions, transitory hypertension, initial increase in arrhythmias (See WARNINGS section), precipitation of anginal attacks, and sensation of substernal pressure have also been reported in a small number of patients, i.e., approximately 1-2 patients in 1000.

Renal dysfunction, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hiccups, erythematous macular rash, flushing, hyperthermia, confusion, paranoid psychosis, emotional lability, lethargy, generalized tenderness, anxiety, shortness of breath, diaphoresis, nasal stuffiness and mild conjunctivitis, have been reported in about 1 patient in 1000. Hyperthermia has also been reported (see WARNINGS). The relationship of bretylium (bretylium tosylate injection ) tosylate administration to these reactions has not been clearly established.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Bretylium (Bretylium Tosylate Injection )

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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