Doxapram hydrochloride produces respiratory stimulation mediated through the peripheral carotid chemoreceptors. As the dosage level is increased, the central respiratory centers in the medulla are stimulated with progressive stimulation of other parts of the brain and spinal cord.
The onset of respiratory stimulation following the recommended single intravenous injection of doxapram hydrochloride usually occurs in 20 to 40 seconds with peak effect at 1 to 2 minutes. The duration of effect may vary from 5 to 12 minutes.
The respiratory stimulant action is manifested by an increase in tidal volume associated with a slight increase in respiratory rate.
A pressor response may result following doxapram administration. Provided there is no impairment of cardiac function, the pressor effect is more marked in hypovolemic than in normovolemic states. The pressor response is due to the improved cardiac output rather than peripheral vasoconstriction. Following doxapram administration, an increased release of catecholamines has been noted.
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/5/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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