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Papaverine

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Papaverine belongs to the group of medicines called vasodilators. Vasodilators cause blood vessels to expand, thereby increasing blood flow. This medicine… Read more

Brand names include: Papacon, Para-Time S.R.

By injection

Papaverine belongs to the group of medicines called vasodilators. Vasodilators cause blood vessels to expand, thereby increasing blood flow. Papaverine… Read more

Drug classes About this
Peripheral Vasodilator

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Cerebrospinal fluid drainage for thoracic and thoracic abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery

An aneurysm is a local bulging of a blood vessel that carries a risk of rupture. Surgery for an aortic aneurysm requires clamping the aorta, the biggest artery in the body. This reduces the supply of blood and oxygen to the spinal cord (ischaemia) and tissue damage can lead to the partial or incomplete paralysis of the lower limbs (paresis) and paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower part of the body). These deficits are frequently irreversible. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure increases during clamping further decreasing the perfusion pressure of the spinal cord. As more of the blood supply to the spinal cord is interrupted, the likelihood of paraplegia is increased. Various treatments are used to reduce the ischaemic insult to the spinal cord including temporary blood shunts (such as distal atriofemoral bypass and re‐connection of intercostal and lumbar vessels), pharmaceutical interventions (to protect the heart and cerebral blood vessels), epidural cooling and CSF drainage. Draining CSF from the lumbar region may lessen the CSF pressure, improve blood flow to the spinal cord and reduce the risk of ischaemic spinal cord injury.

Benefits and Harms of Treating Blood Pressure in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis [Internet]

Hypertension is a very common chronic illness in the United States and among Veterans. Use of antihypertensive medications can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, renal disease, and death. The most beneficial blood pressure targets for patients of specific age groups, however, has been a topic of some debate and controversy, stemming from concerns that the ratio of benefit to harm of a given blood pressure level may vary with age. In 2014, the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (previously JNC-FG8, referred to in this report as JNC-BP) published new guidelines for the treatment of hypertension, as well as a new treatment goal for older individuals (over age 60) for systolic blood pressure (SBP) of < 150 mm Hg rather than < 140 mm Hg. The new goal for those over 60 years of age has been very controversial; the issue of the appropriate (safest and most beneficial) goal for older people has been debated among experts with viewpoints supporting both higher and lower treatment goals. The objectives of this review are to examine the benefits and harms of differing blood pressure targets among adults over age 60.

Prophylactic treatment of migraine in children. Part 2. A systematic review of pharmacological trials

The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of pharmacological prophylactic treatments of migraine in children. Databases were searched from inception to June 2004 and references were checked. We selected controlled trials on the effects of pharmacological prophylactic treatments in children with migraine. We assessed trial quality using the Delphi list and extracted data. Analyses were carried out according to type of intervention. A total of 20 trials were included. Headache improvement was significantly higher for flunarizine compared with placebo (relative risk 4.00, 95% confidence interval 1.60, 9.97). There is conflicting evidence for the use of propranolol. Nimodipine, clonidine, L-5HTP, trazodone and papaverine showed no effect when compared with placebo. All medications were well tolerated and adverse events showed no significant differences. Flunarizine may be effective as prophylactic treatment for migraine in children. Because of the small number of studies and the methodological shortcomings, conclusions regarding effectiveness have to be drawn with caution.

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Summaries for consumers

Cerebrospinal fluid drainage for thoracic and thoracic abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery

An aneurysm is a local bulging of a blood vessel that carries a risk of rupture. Surgery for an aortic aneurysm requires clamping the aorta, the biggest artery in the body. This reduces the supply of blood and oxygen to the spinal cord (ischaemia) and tissue damage can lead to the partial or incomplete paralysis of the lower limbs (paresis) and paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower part of the body). These deficits are frequently irreversible. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure increases during clamping further decreasing the perfusion pressure of the spinal cord. As more of the blood supply to the spinal cord is interrupted, the likelihood of paraplegia is increased. Various treatments are used to reduce the ischaemic insult to the spinal cord including temporary blood shunts (such as distal atriofemoral bypass and re‐connection of intercostal and lumbar vessels), pharmaceutical interventions (to protect the heart and cerebral blood vessels), epidural cooling and CSF drainage. Draining CSF from the lumbar region may lessen the CSF pressure, improve blood flow to the spinal cord and reduce the risk of ischaemic spinal cord injury.

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