METHYLENE BLUE is used to treat methemoglobinemia. This is a condition in which the blood loses its ability to carry oxygen through the body. Compare medical supplies and devices.

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What is Methylene Blue?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Provayblue

Therapeutic ClassificationsDiagnostic Agent, Kidney Function



Blackbox WarningTOP

Intravenous route (Solution)

Methylene blue may cause serious or fatal serotonergic syndrome when used in combination with serotonergic drugs. Avoid concomitant use of methylene blue with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors .


Methylene blue injection is used to treat a condition called methemoglobinemia. This condition occurs when the blood cannot deliver oxygen where it is needed in the body.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of a doctor.

Proper UseTOP

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. The medicine must be injected slowly, so your IV tube will need to stay in place for 5 to 30 minutes.

Before UsingTOP

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 doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Safety and efficacy have been established in pediatric patients.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of methylene blue injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving this medicine.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

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. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency (a hereditary metabolic disorder affecting red blood cells)—May cause hemolytic anemia or make methemoglobinemia worse.
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.


Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention. The most serious signs of this reaction are very fast or irregular breathing, gasping for breath, or fainting. Other signs may include changes in color of the skin of the face, very fast but irregular heartbeat or pulse, hive-like swellings on the skin, and puffiness or swellings of the eyelids or around the eyes. If these side effects occur, get emergency help at once.

Make sure your doctor knows about all the other medicines you are using. This medicine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome when taken with other medicines to treat depression (eg, amitriptyline, bupropion, citalopram, desipramine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, imipramine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, Aventyl®, Celexa®, Cymbalta®, Effexor®, Elavil®, Lexapro™, Luvox®, Norpramin®, Pamelor®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Tofranil®, Wellbutrin®, or Zoloft®), medicine to treat migraine headaches (eg, eletriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, Imitrex®, Relpax®, or Zomig®), ergot medicine (eg, ergotamine, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, or Wigraine®), or certain antibiotics (eg, linezolid, Zyvox®). Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines. The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include mental changes (confusion, hyperactivity, memory problems), muscle twitching, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, diarrhea, trouble with coordination, or fever.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the doctor in charge that you are using this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

This medicine may cause dizziness, confusion, or trouble in seeing clearly. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do other jobs that require you to be alert or able to see well.

This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

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