This drug is used to treat low levels of salt in the blood as well as incorrect antidiuretic hormone secretions. This is not to be used in patients with congestive heart failure, but is to be used in those with hyponatremia only when the benefits outweigh the risks. There are other uses for this medication that are not listed but are left to a physician’s discretion.
A physician is responsible for giving a proper dosage based on individual weight, age and medical history; therefore dosing is different for every patient. Conivaptan Oral comes in liquid form or pills, and can be used intravenously while hospitalized. The average dose for IV fluid is 20 ml during the first hour and then adjusted afterwards for tolerance.
Those with hypervolemic hyponatremia and heart failure can be treated with Vaprisol, but the side effects can be devastating. It is best if the patient and doctor weigh the pros and cons of this medication prior to its use in this case. Those patients with liver disease have not yet been tested, nor has it been tested with patients that are afflicted with a rapid correction of serum sodium or renal disease. Those patients who are pregnant, breast feeding or interested in becoming pregnant should avoid this medication for at least 6 months prior to conceiving.
Patients who take certain drugs cannot tolerate conivaptan. These medications include ketoconazole, itraconazole, clarithromycin, ritonavir and digoxin as each of these are a derivative of the original drug component. Those patients taking MAOIs should alert the physician or pharmacist to all the other drugs they are taking to avoid interactions. If taking the IV version of this medication, less side effects and drug interactions are found.
Certain side effects are seen frequently with this drug, many of which are mild to moderate. These include anemia, atrial fibrillation or heart murmur, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Other side effects include edema or swelling, thirst, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, depression and headache as well as change in blood pressure, insomnia and hypokalemia. If any of these side effects are experienced, it should be reported to a doctor immediately to adjust dosage for tolerance.
Those patients that are pregnant or breast feeding should avoid this medication, as it is not known if this can be passed through milk or placenta. Patients with heart failure or heart conditions should discuss its use with a physician, as there are more potentially dangerous interactions and side effects in those with heart trouble.