Safety of Droperidol Use in the Emergency Department

Droperidol (Inapsine®) is a butyrophenone used in emergency medicine practice for control of psychosis/agitation (1), as an antiemetic (2), for vertigo (3), as an adjunct analgesic (especially in opioid-tolerant patients) and as a treatment for benign headache (4). Initially produced in 1961, it has numerous sites of biochemical activity, most
notably as a dopamine receptor antagonist (D2). It is injectable as an intravenous (IV) and intramuscular (IM) medication giving it utility when dealing with physically resistive patients where IV access may be dangerous or impossible (5). Described dosages used in practice range from 0.625 mg IV for control of nausea to much larger for
control of violent agitation (10 mg IM).

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