Dantrium (dantrolene), produced by Par Sterile Products, is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapy for chronic spasticity (muscle spasms) from upper motor neuron disorders caused by MS and other conditions. The therapy induces skeletal muscle relaxation by affecting the contractile response.
Dantrium (dantrolene) is to be taken by mouth in weekly specified doses until benefit is observed. Patients begin with 25 mg daily for seven days. They then take 25 mg three times a day for seven days, then 50 mg three times a day for seven days, followed by 100 mg three times a day (until a maximum dosage of 100 mg four times a day). In the event that no further benefit is observed at the next higher dose, dosage should be decreased to the previous dose.
The most common adverse effects reported were: muscle weakness, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, nervousness, nausea, thrombophlebitis, urticarial, erythema, and injection site reactions.
The therapy also includes a black box warning on the prescription drug label to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks. Dantrium may cause serious liver toxicity and symptomatic hepatitis (fatal or nonfatal) with different dosages. The risk of hepatic (liver) injury appears to be greater in women over age 35 who take higher dosages and other medications. Hepatic function should be monitored during therapy.
Dantrium is also available as a generic medicine.
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