Precedex vs. Diprivan (propofol)

Are Precedex and Diprivan (propofol) the Same Thing?

Precedex (dexmedetomidine hydrochloride) and Propofol are sedatives.

Precedex is used for short-term intravenous sedation.

Propofol is indicated for initiation and maintenance of Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) sedation, combined sedation and regional anesthesia, induction and/or maintenance of general anesthesia, and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) sedation of intubated, mechanically ventilated patients.

Precedex and propofol are different types of sedatives. Precedex is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist and propofol is a sedative-hypnotic.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Precedex?

Common side effects of Precedex include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Diprivan (propofol)?

Common side effects of Diprivan (propofol) include:

  • nausea,
  • cough,
  • burning or stinging around the IV needle,
  • itching or skin rash,
  • numbness or tingly feeling,
  • confusion,
  • agitation,
  • anxiety,
  • muscle pain, or
  • discolored urine.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effect of Diprivan including:

  • injection site reactions (pain, swelling, blisters, or skin changes),
  • seizures (convulsions),
  • weak or shallow breathing, or
  • fast or slow heart rate.

What Is Precedex?

Precedex (dexmedetomidine hydrochloride) is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist with sedative properties used for short-term intravenous sedation.

What Is Diprivan (propofol)?

Diprivan (propofol) Injectable Emulsion is a sedative-hypnotic agent used to help you relax before and during general anesthesia for surgery or other medical procedure. It is also used in critically ill patients who require a breathing tube connected to a ventilator. Diprivan is available in generic form.

What Drugs Interact With Precedex?

Precedex may interact with anesthetics, sedatives, hypnotics, or opioids. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. During pregnancy, Precedex should only be used if prescribed. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

What Drugs Interact With Diprivan (propofol)?

Diprivan may interact with chloral hydrate, droperidol, barbiturates, diazepam or similar medicines, or narcotics.

How Should Precedex Be Taken?

Precedex is only used in controlled settings and is administered intravenously (IV). Dosing of Precedex is individualized and adjusted to desired clinical response. It is not indicated for infusions lasting longer than 24 hours.

How Should Diprivan (propofol) Be Taken?

Diprivan is administered under a physician's supervision. Dose depends on the condition being treated and the patient's weight.


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Pfizer. Precedex Prescribing Information.
FDA. Diprivan Prescribing Information.

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