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Coramine (nikethamide; respiratory stimulant)

Coramine is the trade name of the drug pyridine β-carboxylic acid diethylamide. After the patent of Coramine was lifted, the generic name nikethamide was given.

While useful in the past, this drug no longer in use due to toxic effects. Currently, it is listed as a substance that is prohibited in athletic competitions.

Uses

What is Coramine used for?

  • Prophylaxis or syncope due to respiratory failure
  • Asthenia, fatigue, especially at high attitudes

How should I take Coramine?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

For oral dosage forms, swallow it whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it in liquid.

How do I store Coramine?

Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & Warnings

What should I know before using Coramine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

Side Effects

What side effects can occur from Coramine?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Cardiovascular effects
  • Convulsions or seizures

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Coramine?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Sympathomimetics
  • MAOIs
  • Anesthetics
  • Neuromuscular blockers
  • Bupropion

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with Coramine?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Coramine?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Liver impairment
  • Porphyria
  • Cerebral edema
  • Head injury
  • Severe asthma
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pheochromocytoma

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

There is no established dose. Refer to your physician’s prescription.

What is the dose for a child?

There is no established pediatric dose. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Coramine available?

Coramine is no longer available on the market.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Nikethamide https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/nikethamide?mtype=generic Accessed July 27, 2021

Coramine and other analeptics  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0310057X1804600101 Accessed July 27, 2021

Nikethamide https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Nikethamide Accessed July 27, 2021

PROHIBITED IN-COMPETITION https://www.wada-ama.org/en/content/what-is-prohibited/prohibited-in-competition Accessed July 27, 2021

Nikethamide. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed July 27, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jul 28
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