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Papaverine is mainly extracted from the mature capsule shell of Papaveraceae poppy. As a vasodilator, papaverine is a nonspecific antispasmodic drug of smooth muscle, used for the treatment of ischemia caused by cerebral, cardiac, and peripheral vascular spasm, as well as visceral spasm of the kidney, gallbladder, or gastrointestinal tract. However, high dose of papaverine can cause hypotension and tachycardia without effect on the central nervous system. As an old variety recorded in pharmacopoeia, papaverine hydrochloride has demonstrated its clinical efficacy and safety after its clinical usage for decades. To avoid the serious adverse reaction caused by intravenous injection, the improved dosage forms were developed for the rational administration of papaverine hydrochloride to benefit the patients.


  • Papaverine
  • Papaveraceae poppy
  • Vasodilator
  • Ischemia

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Correspondence to Guan-Hua Du .

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© 2018 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. and People's Medical Publishing House, PR of China

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Kang, D., Qiang, GF., Du, LD., Du, GH. (2018). Papaverine. In: Natural Small Molecule Drugs from Plants. Springer, Singapore.

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