Use with caution in patients with: coronary artery disease; congestive heart failure; cardiac arrhythmias; hypertension; hyperthyroidism.
Use with caution in patients with renal disease since the renal elimination of glycopyrrolate may be severely impaired in patients with renal failure. Dosage adjustments may be necessary (see Pharmacokinetics — Renal Impairment).
Use glycopyrrolate with caution in the elderly and in all patients with autonomic neuropathy, hepatic disease, ulcerative colitis, prostic hypertrophy, or hiatal hernia, since anticholinergic drugs may aggravate these conditions.
The use of anticholinergetic drugs in the treatment of gastric ulcer may produce a delay in gastric emptying due to antral statis.
Because glycopyrrolate injection may produce drowsiness or blurred vision, the patient should be cautioned not to engage in activities requiring mental alertness and/or visual acuity such as operating a motor vehicle or other machinery, or performing hazardous work while taking this drug (see WARNINGS).
The patient also should be cautioned about the use of this drug during exercise or hot weather since overheating may result in heat stroke.
The patient may experience a possible sensitivity of the eyes to light.
The concurrent use of glycopyrrolate injection with other anticholinergics or medications with anticholinergic activity, such as phenothiazines, antiparkinson drugs, or tricyclic antidepressants, may intensify the antimuscarinic effects and may result in an increase in anticholinergic side effects.
Concomitant administration of glycopyrrolate injection and potassium chloride in a wax matrix may increase the severity of potassium chloride-induced gastrointestinal lesions as a result of a slower gastrointestinal transit time.
Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential. Studies to evaluate the mutagenic potential of glycopyrrolate have not been conducted. In reproduction studies in rats, dietary administration of glycopyrrolate resulted in diminished rates of conception in a dose-related manner. Other studies in dogs suggest that this may be due to diminished seminal secretion which is evident at high doses of glycopyrrolate.
Reproduction studies with glycopyrrolate were performed in rats at a dietary dose of approximately 65 mg/kg/day (exposure was approximately 320 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 2 mg on a mg/m2 basis) and rabbits at intramuscular doses of up to 0.5 mg/kg/day (exposure was approximately 5 times the maximum recommended daily human dose on a mg/m2 basis). These studies produced no teratogenic effects to the fetus. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Single-dose studies in humans found that very small amounts of glycopyrrolate passed the placental barrier.
Published literature suggest the following regarding the use of glycopyrrolate during pregnancy. Unlike atropine, glycopyrrolate in normal doses (0.004 mg/kg) does not appear to affect fetal heart rate or fetal heart rate variability to a significant degree. Concentrations of glycopyrrolate in umbilical venous and aterial blood and in the amniotic fluid are low after intramuscular administration to parturients. Therefore, glycopyrrolate does not appear to penetrate through the placental barrier in significant amounts. In reproduction studies in rats, dietary administration of glycopyrrolate resulted in diminished rates of pup survival in a dose-related manner.
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when glycopyrrolate injection is administered to a nursing woman. As with other anticholinergics, glycopyrrolate may cause suppression of lactation (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established for the management of peptic ulcer.
Dysrhythmias associated with the use of glycopyrrolate intravenously as a premedicant or during anesthesia have been observed in pediatric patients.
Infants, patients with Down’s syndrome, and pediatric patients with spastic paralysis or brain damage may experience an increased response to anticholinergics, thus increasing the potential for side effects.
A paradoxical reaction characterized by hyperexcitability may occur in pediatric patients taking large doses of anticholinergics including glycopyrrolate injection. Infants and young children are especially susceptible to the toxic effects of anticholinergics.
Benzyl alcohol, a component of this drug product, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The “gasping syndrome”, (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping respirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages >99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth-weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hemotologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product deliver amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the “gasping syndrome”, the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. Premature and low-birthweight infants, as well as patients receiving high dosages, may be more likely to develop toxicity. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.
Clinical Studies of glycopyrrolate injection did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other therapy.
Anticholinergics, including glycopyrrolate injection, can produce certain effects, most of which are extensions of their pharmacologic actions. Adverse reactions may include xerostomia (dry mouth); urinary hesitancy and retention; blurred vision and photophobia due to mydriasis (dilation of the pupil); cycloplegia; increased ocular tension; tachycardia; palpitation; decreased sweating; loss of taste; headache; nervousness; drowsiness; weakness; dizziness; insomnia; nausea; vomiting; impotence; suppression of lactation; constipation; bloated feeling; severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions; hypersensitivity; urticaria, pruritus, dry skin, and other dermal manifestations; some degree of mental confusion and/or excitement, especially in elderly persons.
In addition, the following adverse events have been reported from post-marketing experience with glycopyrrolate: malignant hyperthermia; cardiac arrhythmias (including bradycardia, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation); cardiac arrest; hypertension; hypotension; seizures; and respiratory arrest. Post-marketing reports have included cases of heart block and QTc interval prolongation associated with the combined use of glycopyrrolate and an anticholinesterase. Injection site reactions including pruritus, edema, erythema, and pain have also been reported.
Glycopyrrolate is chemically a quaternary ammonium compound; hence, its passage across lipid membranes, such as the blood-brain barrier is limited in contrast to atropine sulfate and scopolamine hydrobromide. For this reason the occurrence of CNS-related side effects is lower, in comparison to their incidence following administration of anticholinergics which are chemically tertiary amines that can cross this barrier readily.
To combat peripheral anticholinergic effects, a quaternary ammonium anticholinesterase such as neostigmine methylsulfate (which does not cross the blood-brain barrier) may be given intravenously in increments of 0.25 mg in adults. This dosage may be repeated every five to ten minutes until anticholinergic overactivity is reversed or up to a maximum of 2.5 mg. Proportionately smaller doses should be used in pediatric patients. Indication for repetitive doses of neostigmine should be based on close monitoring of the decrease in heart rate and the return of bowel sounds.
If CNS symptoms (e.g., excitement, restlessness, convulsions, psychotic behavior) occur, physostigmine (which does cross the blood–brain barrier) may be used. Physostigmine 0.5 to 2 mg should be slowly administered intravenously and repeated as necessary up to a total of 5 mg in adults. Proportionately smaller doses should be used in pediatric patients.
To combat hypotension, administer IV fluids and/or pressor agents along with supportive care.
Fever should be treated symptomatically.
Following overdosage, a curare-like action may occur, i.e., neuromuscular blockade leading to muscular weakness and possible paralysis. In the event of a curare-like effect on respiratory muscles, artificial respiration should be instituted and maintained until effective respiratory action returns.
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