"A unique type of poster placed in exam rooms helped reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory infections during flu season. The approach could help reduce costs and extend the usefulness of these drugs.
PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) SHOULD BE ADMINISTERED IN CAREFULLY ADJUSTED DOSES BY OR UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF EXPERIENCED CLINICIANS WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH ITS ACTIONS AND THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS THAT MIGHT OCCUR FOLLOWING ITS USE. THE DRUG SHOULD NOT BE ADMINISTERED UNLESS FACILITIES FOR INTUBATION, ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION, OXYGEN THERAPY, AND REVERSAL AGENTS ARE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. THE CLINICIAN MUST BE PREPARED TO ASSIST OR CONTROL RESPIRATION.
Severe anaphylactic reactions to neuromuscular blocking agents, including PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) , have been reported. These reactions have, in some cases, been life-threatening and fatal. Due to the potential severity of these reactions, the necessary precautions, such as the immediate availability of appropriate emergency treatment, should be taken. Precautions should also be taken in those individuals who have had previous anaphylactic reactions to other neuromuscular blocking agents, since cross-reactivity between neuromuscular blocking agents, both depolarizing and non-depolarizing, has been reported.
In patients who are known to have myasthenia gravis or the myasthenic (Eaton-Lambert) syndrome, small doses of PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) may have profound effects. In such patients, a peripheral nerve stimulator and use of a small test dose may be of value in monitoring the response to administration of muscle relaxants.
PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) contains benzyl alcohol, which is potentially toxic when administered locally to neural tissue. Exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol has been associated with toxicity (hypotension, metabolic acidosis), particularly in neonates, and an increased incidence of kernicterus, particularly in small preterm infants. There have been rare reports of deaths, primarily in preterm infants, associated with exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol. The amount of benzyl alcohol from medications is usually considered negligible compared to that received in flush solutions containing benzyl alcohol. Administration of high dosages of medications containing this preservative must take into account the total amount of benzyl alcohol administered. The amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. If the patient requires more than the recommended dosages or other medications containing this preservative, the practitioner must consider the daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from these combined sources (see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use).
USE OF A PERIPHERAL NERVE STIMULATOR WILL USUALLY BE OF VALUE FOR MONITORING OF NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKING EFFECT, AVOIDING OVERDOSAGE AND ASSISTING IN EVALUATION OF RECOVERY.
Since allergic cross-reactivity has been reported in this class, request information from your patients about previous anaphylactic reactions to other neuromuscular blocking agents. In addition, inform your patients that severe anaphylactic reactions to neuromuscular blocking agents, including PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) , have been reported.
A major portion of pancuronium,as well as an active metabolite, are recovered in urine. The elimination half-life is doubled and the plasma clearance is reduced in patients with renal failure; at the same time, the rate of recovery of neuromuscular blockade is variable and sometimes very much slower than normal (see Pharmacokinetics). This information should be taken into consideration if pancuronium is selected, for other reasons, to be used in a patient with renal failure.
Altered Circulation Time
Conditions associated with slower circulation time in cardiovascular disease, old age, edematous states resulting in increased volume of distribution may contribute to a delay in onset time; therefore, dosage should not be increased.
Hepatic and/or Biliary Tract Disease
The doubled elimination half-life and reduced plasma clearance determined in patients with hepatic and/or biliary tract disease, as well as limited data showing that recovery time is prolonged an average of 65% in patients with biliary tract obstruction, suggests that prolongation of neuromuscular blockade may occur. At the same time, these conditions are characterized by an approximately 50% increase in volume of distribution of pancuronium, suggesting that the total initial dose to achieve adequate relaxation may in some cases be high. The possibility of slower onset, higher total dosage and prolongation of neuromuscular blockade must be taken into consideration when pancuronium is used in these patients (see also Pharmacokinetics).
Long-term Use in I.C.U.
In the intensive care unit, in rare cases, long-term use of neuromuscular blocking drugs to facilitate mechanical ventilation may be associated with prolonged paralysis and/or skeletal muscle weakness, that may be first noted during attempts to wean such patients from the ventilator. Typically, such patients receive other drugs such as broad spectrum antibiotics, narcotics and/or steroids and may have electrolyte imbalance and diseases which lead to electrolyte imbalance, hypoxic episodes of varying duration, acid-base imbalance and extreme debilitation, any of which may enhance the actions of a neuromuscular blocking agent. Additionally, patients immobilized for extended periods frequently develop symptoms consistent with disuse muscle atrophy. Therefore, when there is a need for long-term mechanical ventilation, the benefitsto-risk ratio of neuromuscular blockade must be considered.
Continuous infusion or intermittent bolus dosing to support mechanical ventilation, has not been studied sufficiently to support dosage recommendations.
UNDER THE ABOVE CONDITIONS, APPROPRIATE MONITORING, SUCH AS USE OF A PERIPHERAL NERVE STIMULATOR, TO ASSESS THE DEGREE OF NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKADE, MAY PRECLUDE INADVERTANT EXCESS DOSING.
Severe Obesity or Neuromuscular Disease
Patients with severe obesity or neuromuscular disease may pose airway and/or ventilatory problems requiring special care before, during and after the use of neuromuscular blocking agents such as PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) .
PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) has no known effect on consciousness, the pain threshold or cerebration. Administration should be accompanied by adequate anesthesia or sedation.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate carcinogenic or mutagenic potential or impairment of fertility.
Pregnancy Category C
Animal reproduction studies have not been performed. It is not known whether PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) should be given to a pregnant woman only if the administering clinician decides that the benefits outweigh the risks. PAVULON® (pancuronium bromide injection) may be used in operative obstetrics (Cesarean section), but reversal of pancuronium may be unsatisfactory in patients receiving magnesium sulfate for toxemia of pregnancy, because magnesium salts enhance neuromuscular blockade. Dosage should usually be reduced, as indicated, in such cases. It is also recommended that the interval between use of pancuronium and delivery be reasonably short to avoid clinically significant placental transfer.
Dose response studies in children indicate that, with the exception of neonates, dosage requirements are the same as for adults. Due to the potential toxicity of benzyl alcohol in neonates, solutions containing benzyl alcohol must not be used in this patient population (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol, a component of this product, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The “gasping syndrome”, (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping respirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages > 99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth-weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product deliver amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the “gasping syndrome”, the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. Premature and low-birth-weight infants, as well as patients receiving high dosages, may be more likely to develop toxicity. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Pavulon Information
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.
Find out what women really need.