Benzyl alcohol, a component of this 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, hematologic
abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and
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-birth
weight 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.
from the hospira package insert for its formulation of propofol