Flumazenil

    • What type of medicine is this?

    • Flumazenil belongs to a group of drugs known as benzodiazepine antagonists. You will only get this drug when your healthcare provider prescribes it.
      It starts to work rather quickly but doesn’t work for very long. Dosing will depend on how long the benzodiazepine poison works. Common benzodiazepines include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin).

      Flumazenil is used for:

      • Treating benzodiazepine overdose in adults.
      • Waking up people put to sleep for surgery or other medical procedures in which benzodiazepines are used as a sedative.
    • What is the medicine used for?

    • Flumazenil is a drug that reverses the effect (antidote) of a group of sedative drugs called benzodiazepines. This drug prevents benzodiazepines from getting to the places in the brain where they work because it is better at occupying these places. Flumazenil is injected into the vein. It is a prescription-only medicine and does not work for morphine or similar opioids.
      If you have a known sensitivity to flumazenil, inform your healthcare provider.

    • How to take this medicine?

    • Flumazenil is injected into a vein directly into your blood. This procedure should be done only by a trained medical person.

    • What are the side-effects?

    • Some unpleasant symptoms that you may experience taking benzodiazepines include:

      • Nausea and vomiting.
      • Headaches.
      • Increased sweating.
      • Difficulty seeing.
      • Pain where the medicine was injected.

      If you have any of the following effects, inform your healthcare provider as soon as possible:

      • If you start to feel restless or have tremors.
      • If you have a seizure.
      • If you suddenly feel very hot, dizzy or lightheaded.
      • If you have an unusual awareness of your heartbeat or chest pain.
    • What to know before taking this medicine?

    • The following are things to note when you are, or are about to start, taking flumazenil:

      • People with benzodiazepine dependence may experience withdrawal symptoms. Tell your doctor if you have been using benzodiazepines for a long time.
      • You should not receive flumazenil if you are allergic to flumazenil or any type of benzodiazepine sedative.
      • Do not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours after receiving flumazenil, or if you still feel drowsy after sedation.
      • It is not confirmed whether flumazenil will harm an unborn baby or cross into breastmilk. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
      • You may have temporary amnesia while you are waking up from sedation. You may not remember everything going on around you for up to 2 hours.