Reviewed on 4/8/2022

What Is Droperidol and How Does It Work?

Droperidol is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of nausea and vomiting caused by surgery and other medical procedures and is used as a sedative or tranquilizer.

  • Droperidol is available under the following different brand names: Inapsine

What Are Dosages of Droperidol?

Adult and pediatric dosage

Injectable solution

  • 2.5mg/mL


Adult and geriatric dosage

  • Initial: No more than 2.5 mg IV/IM; additional doses of 1.25 mg may be given if the benefit outweighs the potential risk

Pediatric dosage

  • Children between 2-12 years: 0.03-0.07 mg/kg IV/IM over 2-5 minutes every 4-6 hours or as needed  
  • Not to exceed 0.1 mg/kg IV/IM, an additional dose (no more than 2.5 mg) may be given ONLY IF the benefit outweighs the potential risk

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See “Dosages”

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Droperidol?

Common side effects of Droperidol include:

  • fast heart rate,
  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • feeling restless,
  • anxiety, and
  • uneasiness.

Serious side effects of Droperidol include:

  • hives,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat,
  • fast or pounding heartbeats,
  • fluttering in the chest,
  • shortness of breath,
  • sudden dizziness,
  • slow heart rate,
  • weak pulse,
  • fainting,
  • slow breathing,
  • confusion,
  • hallucinations,
  • wheezing,
  • chest tightness,
  • twitching,
  • uncontrollable movements of the eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck,
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles,
  • high fever,
  • sweating,
  • confusion,
  • fast or uneven heartbeats, and
  • tremors.

Rare side effects of Droperidol include:

  • none 
This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What Other Drugs Interact with Droperidol?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Droperidol has severe interactions with the following drugs:
  • Droperidol has serious interactions with at least 94 other drugs.
  • Droperidol has moderate interactions with at least 270 other drugs.
  • Droperidol has minor interactions with the following drugs:

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drug interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Droperidol?


  • Hypersensitivity
  • Known or suspected prolonged QT interval; QTc interval above 450 msec in females or 400 msec in males

Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Droperidol?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Droperidol?”


  • May cause potentially fatal QT interval prolongation/torsades de pointes at or below recommended doses; should be used only in patients who have failed to respond to other drugs
  • Use as a sedative or anesthesia adjunct is no longer recommended
  • Shares the toxic potentials of phenothiazines
  • Risk factors for prolonged QT interval
  • Use with extreme cautions in patients at risk for development of prolonged QT syndrome
  • CHF, bradycardia, diuretic use, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, cardiac hypertrophy
  • Use of drugs known to cause prolonged QT interval: class I or III antiarrhythmics, some antihistamines, antimalarials, calcium channel blockers, neuroleptics, antidepressants, or drugs that may induce hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia
  • Above 65 years, alcohol abuse, concomitant use of benzodiazepines or IV opiates, impaired hepatic/renal function

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use with caution if the benefits outweigh the risks during pregnancy
  • Lactation
    • Distributed into breast milk; avoid
Medscape. Droperidol.


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors