Dantrolenum review

Dantrolenum is a muscle relaxant used to relieve tension in the muscles. It is primarily used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, cerebral palsy (CP), and spinal injuries such as muscle spasms, cramps, and general tightness. It does not cure these conditions but treats the symptoms resulting from the disorders, improving the patient’s condition especially when taken in conjunction with other treatment such as physical therapy.


Dantrolenum is also useful in treating malignant hyperthermia (MH) – a condition that may occur post-surgery or after administration of anesthesia. Malignant hyperthermia is experienced as an extremely high fever, irregular heartbeat, and breathing problems.

This medication is marketed as Dantrolenum in North America, and Dantrolen in Europe by Procter & Gamble. It is available in an oral capsule and vials for injection.

Dantrolenum, administered intravenously, treats symptoms of malignant hyperthermia such as muscle cramps, spasms and contractions. Other symptoms treatable by the intravenous form include irregular heartbeats, unusually fast breathing, and increased carbon dioxide levels in the blood.

The capsule is used to treat muscular stiffness and pain resulting from other conditions such cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. The capsule form may be prescribed by doctors to treat cases of high fever.


For the capsule, it is usually initially taken once a day and then gradually increased to 2 to 4 times each day. If you find it difficult to swallow capsules, the contents of the capsules may be dissolved in fruit juice. Dantrolenum must be taken exactly as your doctor prescribes and you should read the instructions accompanying the medication prior to taking the medication. The doctor may instruct you to stop taking the medication if positive results are not seen in 45 days.

If used for pre-operation prevention of potential MH, the dose is often dependent on the patient’s body weight – at around 4 to 8 mg/kg/day of oral Dantrolenum usually distributed in 3 to 4 doses 1 or 2 days before surgery. The last dose before an operation should be given with water at least 3 to 4 hours before the surgery.

If using the intravenous form for treating the sudden onset of MH, a rapid administration of Dantrolenum is advised. Starting from a dose of 1mg/kg, it should be increased to a maximum of 10mg/kg until symptoms subside. Post-MH-episode treatments for either intravenous or oral Dantrolenum follow similar doses; however, you will need to consult your doctor for details.


Side effects include stomach disorders such as diarrhea or constipation, general fatigue or dizziness. Less frequent side effects that may require medical attention include irregular heartbeat, depression, abnormal hair growth, rashes, problems in urination and hypersensitivity.

Dantrolenum may cause severe liver problems. These adverse effects typically occur more often when the medication is taken in larger doses exceeding 800mg per day. Women over 35 years of age seem to have a greater risk for liver damage. Discontinue use of the medication after 45 days if no improvement is noticed. Inform your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: jaundice, passing dark-colored urine, extreme stomach or abdominal pain, and unusual fatigue.

Dantrolenum has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of dantrolenum

 Molecular formula of dantrolenum is C14H10N4O5
 Chemical IUPAC Name is 1-[[5-(4-nitrophenyl)-2-furyl]methylideneamino]imidazolidine-2,4-dione
 Molecular weight is 314.253 g/mol

Generic name: Dantrolene

Brand name(s): Dantrium, Dantroleno

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