This medication is used with atropine to treat nerve agent poisoning by certain chemicals known as anticholinesterase agents (such as organophosphate pesticides such as parathion, "nerve gas" such as sarin, other nerve agents such as VX). Pralidoxime works by restoring the activity of a certain natural substance (cholinesterase) needed by nerves and muscles. Symptoms of nerve agent poisoning may include trouble breathing, headache, runny nose, drooling, vision changes, sweating, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitching/jerking, drowsiness, confusion, and seizures.Pralidoxime works mostly on the muscles (including breathing muscles) to decrease twitching, cramping, weakness, and paralysis. Another medication (atropine) is used to treat these and other symptoms of nerve agent poisoning such as slow/shallow breathing, wheezing, increased sweating/saliva, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How to use
Talk with your doctor about when you should use this product. Know the symptoms of nerve agent poisoning. (See also Uses section.)
Learn how to properly inject this medication in advance so you will be prepared if you actually need to use it. Also teach another person what to do in case you cannot inject the medication yourself.
This medication is given by injection into the muscle of the outer thigh, through clothing if necessary, as soon as possible after exposure to a nerve agent. Another drug (atropine) is usually injected first. Inject this drug (pralidoxime) after the atropine. Hold the injector firmly in place for 10 seconds. Massage the area of injection.
To prevent further exposure to poison, the victim (and any others who treat or have contact with the victim) must right away put on protective equipment (such as breathing mask, gloves) and perform rapid decontamination procedures (such as removing contaminated clothing, washing skin and hair with sodium bicarbonate or alcohol).
Pralidoxime is most effective when used within 24 hours after exposure. If symptoms of poisoning (such as increase in saliva, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness) are still present 15 minutes after the injections, you may give another dose of both atropine and pralidoxime. If needed, you may give a third set of injections 15 minutes later.
Get medical help right away for follow-up treatment. Do not give more than 3 injections unless directed by a doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and poisoning symptoms.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.