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Pyridostigmine For Military Combat Medical Use (Systemic)
Pyridostigmine (peer-id-oh-STIG-meen) is taken by mouth for protection against a nerve agent called soman. It should be used along with wearing protective clothing including a gas mask, hood and overgarment.
It is very important that pyridostigmine use be stopped at the first sign of nerve agent poisoning . Atropine and pralidoxime [2-PAM] are medicines that must be taken at the first sign of nerve agent poisoning and immediately after pyridostigmine use has stopped. Atropine and 2-PAM are called antidotes and help the pyridostigmine work better against nerve agent poisoning.
Pyridostigmine is to be administered to military personnel only by or under the immediate supervision of your chain of command or medical officer. It is available in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your medical officer will make. For pyridostigmine, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to pyridostigmine or any of the anticholinesterase agents (certain drugs used during surgery like physostigmine, edrophonium, neostigmine, and ambenonium). Also tell your medical officer if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- Pyridostigmine has not been studied in pregnant women. However, pyridostigmine has not been shown to cause birth defects or other major problems in animal studies.
Breast-feeding- It is not known if pyridostigmine passes into breast milk.
Older adults- May medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of pyridostigmine in the elderly with use in other age groups.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of pyridostigmine. Make sure you tell your medical officer if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Take this medicine exactly as directed. Do not skip, double up on your dose, or stop taking it unless directed by your medical officer. Taking pyridostigmine right before being exposed to soman nerve agent (e.g., when the gas attack alarm is given) or at the same time as poisoning by soman may not work. And, it may make the symptoms of an exposure to soman much worse.
Pyridostigmine use must be stopped at the first sign of nerve agent poisoning. Tell your medical officer or chain of command if you think you may have symptoms of nerve agent poisoning such as weak muscles or trouble breathing.
It is important that you wear protective clothes such as masks, hoods and overgarments designed to protect against nerve agent poisoning.
The dose of pyridostigmine will be determined by your chain of command and/or medical officer based on the threat of soman nerve agent exposure. Follow your medical officer's directions about how much and when to take this medicine. . The following is the dosing information for pyridostigmine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
If you experience serious side effects such as difficulty breathing, severe dizziness, or loss of consciousness after taking pyridostigmine, you should contact your medical officer immediately.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT