Papaverine (Oral)

Papaverine is indicated for low blood circulation, particularly in adults diagnosed with visceral spasm.


To treat poor blood circulation in adults, Papaverine tablets may be prescribed. Oral papaverine tablets are available by prescription only and are sold under the trade names Papacon or Pavacot. The tablets are supplied in either immediate release or extended release hybrids.

The human body relies on blood through the veins from the arteries and to the brain and other vital organs. However, patients who have poor blood circulation are at an increased risk of developing serious and potentially fatal conditions, including a stroke or heart attack.

This is where Papacon comes in.

Papacon helps to relax the blood vessels causing them to expand with ease and subsequently facilitating better blood circulation throughout the body.

Papacon features many other applications, including for the treatment of:

In some cases, it is also used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Conditions Treated?

  • Blood Vessel Disorders
  • Poor Blood Circulation
  • Visceral Spasm

Type Of Medicine?

  • Vasodilator
  • Opium Alkaloid Antispasmodic Medicine

Side Effects

As with most medications, Papaverine may cause unwanted side effects. The most common include:

  • Abnormal pulse or heartbeat
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Feeling nervous or confused
  • Runny stools or constipation
  • Spinning sensation
  • Syncope
  • Tremors

Rare Side Effects of Papaverine

Some of the less common side effects reported with Papaverine use are:

  • An erection that lasts for more than 4 hours
  • Appetite loss
  • Blurriness
  • Changes in stool or urine color
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Double vision
  • Edema
  • Eyes or skin that look yellowish
  • Fever
  • A headache
  • Labored breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Pain or tenderness in the abdomen
  • Skin irritation
  • Sleepiness
  • Vision changes

If any of these symptoms occur, consult your healthcare provider right away.


In adults, the average dose includes:

150 mg| Every 12 hours

Patients who have demonstrated a good tolerance to this drug may receive an increased dose of:

  • 150 mg | Every 8 hours
  • 300 mg | Every 12 hours

Keep in mind, this dosage amount reflects outlined averages and every patient differs. A healthcare specialist will weigh several variables when prescribing this medicine, including:

  • The medication's strength
  • The times per day needed
  • The time lapse between doses
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Current medications

Best Practices for Use

For best results, follow these rules of thumb:

Take with meals To alleviate or prevent an upset stomach, your pharmacist may recommend taking Papaverine with a full meal. Additionally, if you develop an upset stomach or indigestion, over-the-counter antacids may be used. However, it is important to check with your medical provider first before taking any OTC drugs due to potential drug interactions.

Swallow whole (Extended Release) To ensure the extended-release pill works around the clock, do not crush or break the tablet. Swallow it whole with a full glass of water or milk.

Missed Dose

Missed doses can be addressed by taking it as soon as you remember. However, doses should not be doubled. Therefore, if it almost time for the next listed dose, do not take the missed dose. Resume the normal schedule instead.


In some cases, taking two or more medicines together could lead to serious adverse effects. Read more on drug, disease, and lifestyle interactions below:

Drug Interactions

The following medicines are not recommended for concomitant use with Papaverine:

  • Sotalol
  • Dabrafenib
  • Efavirenz
  • Amifampridine
  • Sulpiride
  • Pitolisant
  • Zuclopenthixol
  • Amisulpride
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Amiodarone
  • Vinflunine
  • Pimavanserin
  • Vemurafenib
  • Quetiapine

Herbal Medicine Interactions

Additionally, over the counter supplements, including Gingko Biloba products, should not be used with Papaverine. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are currently taking this or any other OTC drugs including vitamins and supplements.

Alcohol Interactions

You should not consume alcohol when taking Papaverine. Serious adverse effects have been noted when both substances are used together.

Tobacco Interactions

Smoking is proven to reduce the effectiveness of Papaverine. Your doctor will therefore advise you to quit smoking. Consult your healthcare provider if you plan on using nicotine cessation products, as these may interact negatively with Papaverine.

Pre-Existing Conditions

In medical studies, contraindications have been observed in patients who take Papaverine with specific underlying conditions. These include:

Tell your doctor if you have had any recent diagnoses or a history of these conditions.


Read through the medication guide that comes with this medicine. To improve safety when taking this drug, read the potential risks and warning signs for when to call a doctor.

As a synopsis, some of the main precautions associated with Papaverine include:

Patient Response Rates

In some patients, Papaverine may take some time to kick in and increase blood flow. If you do not feel better after a few days of using this medicine, do not discontinue doses without first consulting your healthcare provider.

Sit and Stand Slowly

Dizziness is a common side effect associated with Papaverine use. To alleviate dizziness, medical specialist suggests getting up or sitting down slowly. Abrupt movements could increase the chances of dizzy spells. Additionally, if you are climbing stairs, do not rush this activity. Climb gradually to lower the odds of fainting.

Maintaining Alertness

Papaverine may also cause extreme drowsiness. As a result, extra precaution must be taken while driving or operating heavy machinery. These activities should be avoided if you regularly feel sleepy while using the drug and if you have difficulty concentrating or maintaining a sense of alertness.

Risk of Allergies

In very rare cases, Papaverine may cause a serious allergic reaction to develop. Pay attention to the warnings of hypersensitivities to this medicine, including hives, rashes, abnormal heartbeat, labored breathing, and swelling. If these occur, call 911 right away.

Additionally, to prevent the risk of an allergic reaction, tell your doctor if you have a history of allergies to any medicines or substances, including food, dyes, and animal products. Based on your medical history, your doctor will be better able to gauge the safety of prescribing Papaverine.

Risk of Liver Disease

This medicine is absorbed hepatically in the liver and may therefore cause liver disease. Some of the telltale signs of this condition include:

  • Unrelenting nausea or upset stomach
  • Pain or tenderness in the stomach
  • A darker colored urine
  • Jaundice

If these signs develop, consult your doctor immediately.

Eye Exams

Patients may be referred to an eye care specialist, particularly if vision changes are noticed. Glaucoma patients are also urged to keep all eye exams to reduce potential eye health risks when undergoing treatment with this drug.

Use in Seniors

Patients over the age of 65 may experience a low tolerance to cold temperatures. As a result, extra care should be taken to dress appropriately in colder climates.

Use in Pediatrics

Insufficient studies are available demonstrating how this drug affects the pediatric population. As a result, it is not recommended for minors or expecting and nursing mothers.

Other Precautions

Some other rules of thumb include:

1. Never share this medicine with other members of your household.

2. Discard unused portions of the medicine at your local pharmacy.

3. As an extra precaution, plan for unexpected emergencies by wearing a medical I.D. bracelet to inform EMTs of underlying conditions and current medicines.


Keep this medicine in the original container and store it at room temperature.

Avoid heat, sunlight, and moisture. Do not store oral Papaverine at freezing temperatures.

Due to the risks of serious side effects, it is crucial to keep this drug out of the reach of children. The best practice is to store in a high area or locked cabinet.

In the event of an accidental dose, call 911 and the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222.


Papaverine is indicated for arterial spasm, which causes poor circulatory function. As a vasodilator, it dilates the blood vessels, allowing for smoother blood flow throughout the body.

Several interactions have been found for Papaverine and it is therefore imperative that patients create a list of all current and recent medications.

Medical providers advise patients to retain a complete breakdown of medicines and pre-existing conditions at each appointment, which could all affect how this drug works. Also, tell your doctor if you smoke or drink.

When undergoing treatment with Papaverine, you should not drink or smoke. Nicotine could slow the effects of Papaverine and concurrent use with alcohol may lead to severe negative reactions.

There are two formats in which this drug is supplied, including as a tablet or an extended-release capsule. Extended-release capsules should be taken whole to promote its longer lasting effects.

If you experience nausea after taking Papaverine, an antacid may be used to alleviate this side effect. Your pharmacist may also recommend taking this medicine with a full meal or a glass or milk to reduce the risk of an upset stomach.

Overall, patient response rates to Papaverine by mouth is generally good based on medical research.