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Intravenous Anesthetics

Intravenous anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts have been used in modern anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts practice since the 20th century. Modern anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts began with inhaled anesthetics Inhaled anesthetics Inhaled anesthetics are chemical compounds that can induce and maintain general anesthesia when delivered by inhalation. Inhaled anesthetics can be divided into 2 groups: volatile anesthetics and gases. Volatile anesthetics include halothane, isoflurane, desflurane, and sevoflurane. Inhaled Anesthetics; however, intravenous agents were adopted because injected or infused doses could be more closely controlled with little wasted medication. Several groups of agents are currently available (e.g., barbiturates, benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines, and dissociatives), but the most widely used are fentanyl Fentanyl A potent narcotic analgesic, abuse of which leads to habituation or addiction. It is primarily a mu-opioid agonist. Fentanyl is also used as an adjunct to general anesthetics, and as an anesthetic for induction and maintenance. Opioid Analgesics, midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines, and propofol.

Last updated: Jul 18, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Continuum of sedation and anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts

  • Light or minimal sedation: administration of anxiolytics and analgesics to achieve a mild level of sedation with preserved responsiveness:
    • Responsive to voice
    • Airway Airway ABCDE Assessment remains patent. 
    • Respiration Respiration The act of breathing with the lungs, consisting of inhalation, or the taking into the lungs of the ambient air, and of exhalation, or the expelling of the modified air which contains more carbon dioxide than the air taken in. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy remains spontaneous.
    • No cardiovascular depression 
  • Moderate sedation (also known as conscious sedation): administration of anxiolytics and analgesics to achieve a deeper level of sedation with less-preserved responsiveness:
    • Responsive to voice
    • Airway Airway ABCDE Assessment remains patent. 
    • Respiration Respiration The act of breathing with the lungs, consisting of inhalation, or the taking into the lungs of the ambient air, and of exhalation, or the expelling of the modified air which contains more carbon dioxide than the air taken in. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy remains spontaneous.
    • Mild cardiovascular depression → reduced blood pressure
  • Deep sedation: administration of anxiolytics, analgesics, and/or anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts to achieve a deep level of sedation with minimally preserved responsiveness:
    • No longer responsive to voice
    • Airway Airway ABCDE Assessment patency may become compromised. 
    • Respiratory support may be needed.
    • Cardiovascular depression → potentially significant blood pressure reduction
    • Response to noxious stimuli
  • General anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
    • Administration of anxiolytics, analgesics, and/or anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts to achieve a very deep level of sedation eliminating responsiveness:
      • No longer responsive to voice
      • Airway Airway ABCDE Assessment patency may become compromised. 
      • Respiration Respiration The act of breathing with the lungs, consisting of inhalation, or the taking into the lungs of the ambient air, and of exhalation, or the expelling of the modified air which contains more carbon dioxide than the air taken in. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy support may be needed.
      • Cardiovascular depression → potentially significant blood pressure reduction
      • No response to noxious stimuli
    • General anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts is intended to create a reversible state of sedation, including:

Anesthetic agents

The intravenous anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts include:

  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines 
  • Ketamine (dissociative)
  • Etomidate
  • Propofol
  • Fentanyl Fentanyl A potent narcotic analgesic, abuse of which leads to habituation or addiction. It is primarily a mu-opioid agonist. Fentanyl is also used as an adjunct to general anesthetics, and as an anesthetic for induction and maintenance. Opioid Analgesics

Barbiturates

Agents in the class

  • Diethylbarbituric acid (barbital): the 1st barbiturate used for induction of anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
  • Thiopental:
    • Used for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
    • Until supplanted by propofol, thiopental was the most common intravenous agent.
    • An effective anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant drugs are pharmacological agents used to achieve seizure control and/or prevent seizure episodes. Anticonvulsants encompass various drugs with different mechanisms of action including ion-channel (Na+ and Ca+2) blocking and GABA reuptake inhibition. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
    • Short acting
  • Methohexital:
    • Indicated for short duration procedural sedation (e.g., cardioversion Cardioversion Atrial Fibrillation, fracture Fracture A fracture is a disruption of the cortex of any bone and periosteum and is commonly due to mechanical stress after an injury or accident. Open fractures due to trauma can be a medical emergency. Fractures are frequently associated with automobile accidents, workplace injuries, and trauma. Overview of Bone Fractures reduction, or intubation Intubation Peritonsillar Abscess)
    • Short acting
    • An effective anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant drugs are pharmacological agents used to achieve seizure control and/or prevent seizure episodes. Anticonvulsants encompass various drugs with different mechanisms of action including ion-channel (Na+ and Ca+2) blocking and GABA reuptake inhibition. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
  • Phenobarbital Phenobarbital A barbituric acid derivative that acts as a nonselective central nervous system depressant. It potentiates gamma-aminobutyric acid action on gaba-a receptors, and modulates chloride currents through receptor channels. It also inhibits glutamate induced depolarizations. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs and pentobarbital:
    • Mostly used in the ICU ICU Hospital units providing continuous surveillance and care to acutely ill patients. West Nile Virus setting for neurologic emergencies
    • Uses include: 
      • Seizure management
      • Lowering intracranial pressure Intracranial Pressure Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension ( ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP))
      • Medical coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma induction

Chemistry

  • Barbiturates are derived from barbituric acid.
  • The medications within the class have variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables side chains branching from the ring structure.
  • Barbiturates are prepared as sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia salts (mixed with either sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia chloride Chloride Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion. Electrolytes or sterile Sterile Basic Procedures water) and packaged as solutions used for intravenous injection.
Barbituric acid

The chemical structure of barbituric acid

Image: “Barbituric Acid Structural formula” by Jü. License: Public Domain

Mechanism of action

  • Occupation/activation of the γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors → ↑ duration of chloride Chloride Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion. Electrolytes flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure through the open channel
  • Depresses the reticular activating system in the brainstem
Diagram of the gaba-a receptor

Diagram of the γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors:
Notice the different binding sites for the different families of medications.

Image by Lecturio.

Physiologic effects

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Distribution: 
    • Highly lipid soluble Lipid Soluble Chloramphenicol → able to cross the blood-brain barrier Blood-brain barrier Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined endothelial cells with tight junctions that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the brain tissue. Systemic and Special Circulations → rapid brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification uptake
    • Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification uptake: approximately 30 seconds
    • Peak plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products concentration: 20–30 minutes 
  • Metabolism: hepatic 
  • Excretion: 
    • Renal 
    • Fecal
  • Context sensitivity: 
    • Repetitive doses fill-up/saturate the peripheral compartments, minimizing the effect of redistribution.
    • The duration of effect is dependent on the speed of elimination Elimination The initial damage and destruction of tumor cells by innate and adaptive immunity. Completion of the phase means no cancer growth. Cancer Immunotherapy.

Indications

Barbiturates are a group of sedative-hypnotic medications with the following indications:

  • Epileptic disorders
  • Withdrawal syndromes
  • Sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep disorders
  • Preoperative anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Medical coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma induction → ↓ in ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
  • Adjunct in management of ↑ ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
  • Induction of anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
  • Maintenance of general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

Adverse effects:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
  • Tolerance Tolerance Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Anaphylactic reactions Anaphylactic reactions An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Vaccination (rare)

Drug interactions:

  • Contrast media Contrast Media Substances used to allow enhanced visualization of tissues. Computed Tomography (CT) and sulfonamides Sulfonamides A group of compounds that contain the structure so2nh2. Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim potentiate the effect by increasing the available concentration.
  • Ethanol Ethanol A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol Metabolism, opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics, and antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines potentiate sedative effects via synergy. 

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:

  • Status asthmaticus 
  • Acute and intermittent porphyrias Porphyrias Porphyrias are a group of metabolic disorders caused by a disturbance in the synthesis of heme. In most cases, porphyria is caused by a hereditary enzyme defect. The disease patterns differ depending on the affected enzyme, and the variants of porphyria can be clinically differentiated between acute and nonacute forms. Porphyrias
  • Hypovolemia Hypovolemia Sepsis in Children due to propensity for cardiovascular depression

Benzodiazepines

Overview

  • Chlordiazepoxide Chlordiazepoxide An anxiolytic benzodiazepine derivative with anticonvulsant, sedative, and amnesic properties. It has also been used in the symptomatic treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines was discovered in 1955 and released for clinical use in 1960.
  • Diazepam Diazepam A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid activity. Benzodiazepines, lorazepam Lorazepam A benzodiazepine used as an anti-anxiety agent with few side effects. It also has hypnotic, anticonvulsant, and considerable sedative properties and has been proposed as a preanesthetic agent. Benzodiazepines, and midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines followed the release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of chlordiazepoxide Chlordiazepoxide An anxiolytic benzodiazepine derivative with anticonvulsant, sedative, and amnesic properties. It has also been used in the symptomatic treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines and are used extensively for premedication, conscious sedation, and induction of general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts.
  • Midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines:
    • Most commonly used benzodiazepine
    • Used for multiple purposes (from sedation to mitigation of seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures)

Chemistry

  • Base structure: a benzene ring and a 7-member diazepine ring
  • Different side groups affect Affect The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves. Psychiatric Assessment the binding affinity and interaction with GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors.
Benzodiazepine basic ring structure

The basic ring structure of the benzodiazepine class:
Medications within the class have variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables R groups.

Image: “Benzodiazepine Structural Formula” by Jü. License: Public Domain

Mechanism of action

Occupation/activation of the GABAA receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors increases the opening frequency of the associated chloride Chloride Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion. Electrolytes (Cl-) channel, resulting in action potential Action Potential Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the cell membrane of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli. Membrane Potential inhibition:

Physiologic effects

  • Cardiovascular:
    • Cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics and peripheral vascular resistance Vascular Resistance The force that opposes the flow of blood through a vascular bed. It is equal to the difference in blood pressure across the vascular bed divided by the cardiac output. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure → ↓ arterial blood pressure
    • Coadministration with opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics → myocardial depression and arterial hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
  • Respiratory: ↓ response to hypercapnia Hypercapnia A clinical manifestation of abnormal increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in arterial blood. Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • CNS:
    • ↓ O2 consumption
    • Slight ↓ of CBF → ↓ ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
    • Sedation
    • Confusion and anterograde amnesia Anterograde amnesia Loss of the ability to form new memories beyond a certain point in time. This condition may be organic or psychogenic in origin. Organically induced anterograde amnesia may follow craniocerebral trauma; seizures; anoxia; and other conditions which adversely affect neural structures associated with memory formation (e.g., the hippocampus; fornix (brain); mammillary bodies; and anterior thalamic nuclei). Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Syndrome 
    • Disinhibition and motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology inhibition
    • Anxiolysis
    • Muscle relaxation

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Distribution: 
    • Lipid solubility → quick brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification uptake
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
      • Lorazepam Lorazepam A benzodiazepine used as an anti-anxiety agent with few side effects. It also has hypnotic, anticonvulsant, and considerable sedative properties and has been proposed as a preanesthetic agent. Benzodiazepines: 15 hours
      • Diazepam Diazepam A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid activity. Benzodiazepines: 2 hours
      • Midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines: 2 hours
  • Metabolism: hepatic ( cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury): into active and nonactive hydrosoluble metabolites
  • Excretion: primarily renal

Indications

  • Induction of general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts ( midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines):
    • Slower loss of consciousness and longer recovery than propofol 
    • Slower loss of consciousness and longer recovery than etomidate
  • Premedication
  • Conscious sedation
  • Other uses:
    • Anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder states ( lorazepam Lorazepam A benzodiazepine used as an anti-anxiety agent with few side effects. It also has hypnotic, anticonvulsant, and considerable sedative properties and has been proposed as a preanesthetic agent. Benzodiazepines and diazepam Diazepam A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid activity. Benzodiazepines)
    • Muscle spasticity Spasticity Spinal Disk Herniation ( diazepam Diazepam A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid activity. Benzodiazepines)
    • Ethanol Ethanol A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol Metabolism withdrawal ( chlordiazepoxide Chlordiazepoxide An anxiolytic benzodiazepine derivative with anticonvulsant, sedative, and amnesic properties. It has also been used in the symptomatic treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines and diazepam Diazepam A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid activity. Benzodiazepines)

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

Adverse effects:

  • Respiratory depression and arrest
  • Confusion
  • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
  • Syncope Syncope Syncope is a short-term loss of consciousness and loss of postural stability followed by spontaneous return of consciousness to the previous neurologic baseline without the need for resuscitation. The condition is caused by transient interruption of cerebral blood flow that may be benign or related to a underlying life-threatening condition. Syncope
  • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics/ vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Laryngospasm Laryngospasm Hypoparathyroidism and/or bronchospasm Bronchospasm Asthma Drugs in neonates (rare)
  • Tolerance Tolerance Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics and dependence

Drug interactions:

  • Cimetidine Cimetidine A histamine congener, it competitively inhibits histamine binding to histamine h2 receptors. Cimetidine has a range of pharmacological actions. It inhibits gastric acid secretion, as well as pepsin and gastrin output. Antihistamines slows down the metabolism of diazepam Diazepam A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid activity. Benzodiazepines at cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury.
  • Erythromycin Erythromycin A bacteriostatic antibiotic macrolide produced by streptomyces erythreus. Erythromycin a is considered its major active component. In sensitive organisms, it inhibits protein synthesis by binding to 50s ribosomal subunits. This binding process inhibits peptidyl transferase activity and interferes with translocation of amino acids during translation and assembly of proteins. Macrolides and Ketolides inhibits the metabolism of midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines → prolongs and intensifies effects
  • Opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics potentiate myocardial depression, respiratory depression, and CNS depression.
  • Ethanol Ethanol A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol Metabolism potentiates myocardial depression, respiratory depression, and CNS depression.
  • Barbiturates potentiate myocardial depression, respiratory depression, and CNS depression.

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:

  • Hypersensitivity to benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines
  • Closed-angle glaucoma Glaucoma Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy characterized by typical visual field defects and optic nerve atrophy seen as optic disc cupping on examination. The acute form of glaucoma is a medical emergency. Glaucoma is often, but not always, caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Glaucoma

Overdose and toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation

Clinical presentation:

  • CNS depression
  • Respiratory depression and failure
  • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension

Management:

  • Antidote Antidote An antidote is a substance that counteracts poisoning or toxicity. Substances that can cause poisoning include heavy metals (from occupation, treatments, or diet), alcohols, environmental toxins, and medications. Antidotes of Common Poisonings: flumazenil Flumazenil A potent benzodiazepine receptor antagonist. Since it reverses the sedative and other actions of benzodiazepines, it has been suggested as an antidote to benzodiazepine overdoses. Benzodiazepines 
  • Activated charcoal Charcoal An amorphous form of carbon prepared from the incomplete combustion of animal or vegetable matter, e.g., wood. The activated form of charcoal is used in the treatment of poisoning. Antidotes of Common Poisonings administration is contraindicated due to the risk of aspiration.

Ketamine

Overview

  • Approved for general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts with or without other anesthetic agents
  • Closest agent to a “complete anesthetic” 
  • Often utilized for short-term sedation/ anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts (e.g., reduction of fractures or dislocations)

Chemistry

Ketamine is similar to phencyclidine ( PCP PCP Pneumocystis jiroveci is a yeast-like fungus causing pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in immunocompromised patients. Pneumocystis pneumonia is spread through airborne transmission and classically affects patients with AIDS, functioning as an AIDS-defining illness. Patients may present with insidious onset of fever, chills, dry cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Pneumocystis jirovecii/Pneumocystis Pneumonia (PCP)), a hallucinogen Hallucinogen Drugs capable of inducing illusions, hallucinations, delusions, paranoid ideations, and other alterations of mood and thinking. Despite the name, the feature that distinguishes these agents from other classes of drugs is their capacity to induce states of altered perception, thought, and feeling that are not experienced otherwise. Hallucinogen Use Disorder.

Ketamine

The chemical structure of ketamine

Image: “Structure of ketamine” by Brenton. License: Public Domain

Mechanism of action

Physiologic effects

  • Cardiovascular:
    • Cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics and arterial blood pressure
    • Myocardial depression with large doses
  • Respiratory:
    • Potent bronchodilator (used with bronchospasm Bronchospasm Asthma Drugs and asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma
    • ↑ Salivation
  • CNS:
    • ↑ O2 consumption → ↑ CBF → ↑ ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
    • Mood modulator
    • Sympathetic stimulation and inhibition of epinephrine Epinephrine The active sympathomimetic hormone from the adrenal medulla. It stimulates both the alpha- and beta- adrenergic systems, causes systemic vasoconstriction and gastrointestinal relaxation, stimulates the heart, and dilates bronchi and cerebral vessels. Sympathomimetic Drugs reuptake
    • Hallucinations Hallucinations Subjectively experienced sensations in the absence of an appropriate stimulus, but which are regarded by the individual as real. They may be of organic origin or associated with mental disorders. Schizophrenia
    • Dissociation Dissociation Defense Mechanisms

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Distribution: 
    • Highly lipid soluble Lipid Soluble Chloramphenicol + increased cerebral perfusion Cerebral Perfusion Syncope + increased cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics → quick brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification uptake
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 2 hours
  • Metabolism: 
    • Hepatic 
    • Metabolites: norketamine (retains anesthetic activity) and several other water-soluble metabolites
  • Excretion: renal

Indications

  • Induction and maintenance of anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
  • Acute or chronic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Other uses:
    • Status epilepticus Status Epilepticus A prolonged seizure or seizures repeated frequently enough to prevent recovery between episodes occurring over a period of 20-30 minutes. The most common subtype is generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus, a potentially fatal condition associated with neuronal injury and respiratory and metabolic dysfunction. Nonconvulsive forms include petit mal status and complex partial status, which may manifest as behavioral disturbances. Simple partial status epilepticus consists of persistent motor, sensory, or autonomic seizures that do not impair cognition. Subclinical status epilepticus generally refers to seizures occurring in an unresponsive or comatose individual in the absence of overt signs of seizure activity. Seizures
    • Coadministration with propofol or midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines in small bolus or infusion for conscious sedation
    • Treatment-resistant or severe depression

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

Adverse effects:

  • Cardiovascular stimulant
  • Respiratory depression and apnea
  • May ↑ ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
  • Associated with postoperative emergence reactions:
  • Tonic-clonic movements during administration
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Tolerance Tolerance Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Drug interactions:

  • Coadministration with opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics produces apnea.
  • Synergistic interaction with volatile anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts (e.g., nitrous oxide Nitrous oxide Nitrogen oxide (N2O). A colorless, odorless gas that is used as an anesthetic and analgesic. High concentrations cause a narcotic effect and may replace oxygen, causing death by asphyxia. Inhaled Anesthetics (N2O))
  • Additive interaction with GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS receptor-mediated agents (e.g., benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines)

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:

  • Prior hypersensitivity
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is often the primary source of nutrition for the newborn. During pregnancy, hormonal stimulation causes the number and size of mammary glands in the breast to significantly increase. After delivery, prolactin stimulates milk production, while oxytocin stimulates milk expulsion through the lactiferous ducts, where it is sucked out through the nipple by the infant. Breastfeeding women
  • Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations. The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are traditionally separated into 2 groups: positive (delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech or behavior) and negative (flat affect, avolition, anhedonia, poor attention, and alogia). Schizophrenia
  • Aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection
  • Myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction

Cautious administration in:

  • Coronary artery disease Coronary artery disease Pathological processes of coronary arteries that may derive from a congenital abnormality, atherosclerotic, or non-atherosclerotic cause. Stable and Unstable Angina
  • Uncontrolled hypertension Uncontrolled hypertension Although hypertension is defined as a blood pressure of > 130/80 mm Hg, individuals can present with comorbidities of severe asymptomatic or “uncontrolled” hypertension (≥ 180 mm Hg systolic and/or ≥ 120 mm Hg diastolic) that carries with it a significant risk of morbidity and mortality. Uncontrolled Hypertension
  • Congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure refers to the inability of the heart to supply the body with normal cardiac output to meet metabolic needs. Echocardiography can confirm the diagnosis and give information about the ejection fraction. Congestive Heart Failure
  • Arterial aneurysms
  • Alcohol dependence or intoxication

Etomidate

Overview

Etomidate is an intravenous anesthetic agent with the following characteristics:

  • Ultrashort acting (i.e., fast onset and short duration)
  • Hypnotic
  • Minimal blood pressure depression (used in shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock trauma)
  • Rapid metabolism

Chemistry

  • Carboxylated imidazole ring Imidazole Ring Nitroimidazoles:
    • Water solubility at acidic pH pH The quantitative measurement of the acidity or basicity of a solution. Acid-Base Balance 
    • Lipid solubility at physiological pH pH The quantitative measurement of the acidity or basicity of a solution. Acid-Base Balance
  • Structurally unrelated to the other anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
The chemical structure of etomidate

The chemical structure of etomidate

Image: “Etomidate” by Vaccinationist. License: Public Domain

Mechanism of action

Occupation/activation of the GABAA receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors increases sensitivity for GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS to reduce neuroexcitation.

Physiologic effects

  • Cardiovascular: mild ↓ in peripheral vascular resistance Vascular Resistance The force that opposes the flow of blood through a vascular bed. It is equal to the difference in blood pressure across the vascular bed divided by the cardiac output. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure
  • CNS: ↓ cerebral O2 consumption → ↓ CBF → ↓ ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
  • Endocrine: inhibition of enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes involved in cortisol Cortisol Glucocorticoids and aldosterone Aldosterone A hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that regulates electrolyte and water balance by increasing the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium. Hyperkalemia synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Antiemetic properties

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Distribution: 
    • Lipid soluble Lipid Soluble Chloramphenicol → quick brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification uptake (30–60 seconds)
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 2–5 minutes
  • Metabolism: 
    • Hydrolyzation by hepatic enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes and plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products esterases Esterases Macrolides and Ketolides
    • Inactive metabolite
  • Excretion: renal

Indications

  • Induction of general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts:
    • Minimal hemodynamic effects
    • Onset and recovery is rapid.
  • Procedural sedation
  • Cushing syndrome Cushing syndrome A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (hydrocortisone) or other glucocorticoids from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body obesity; osteoporosis; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; hirsutism; amenorrhea; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of adrenocorticotropin and those that are acth-independent. Paraneoplastic Syndromes treatment (off label)

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

Adverse effects:

  • Adrenal suppression Suppression Defense Mechanisms
  • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension at induction
  • Postoperative nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Myoclonus Myoclonus Involuntary shock-like contractions, irregular in rhythm and amplitude, followed by relaxation, of a muscle or a group of muscles. This condition may be a feature of some central nervous system diseases; (e.g., epilepsy-myoclonic). Nocturnal myoclonus is the principal feature of the nocturnal myoclonus syndrome. Neurological Examination and transient muscle movements

Drug interactions:

  • Coadministration with opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics produces apnea.
  • Fentanyl Fentanyl A potent narcotic analgesic, abuse of which leads to habituation or addiction. It is primarily a mu-opioid agonist. Fentanyl is also used as an adjunct to general anesthetics, and as an anesthetic for induction and maintenance. Opioid Analgesics increases plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products levels and prolongs elimination Elimination The initial damage and destruction of tumor cells by innate and adaptive immunity. Completion of the phase means no cancer growth. Cancer Immunotherapy.

Cautious use:

  • Sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock
  • Chronic kidney disease Chronic Kidney Disease Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Underlying liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease

Propofol

Overview

Propofol is the most widely used induction agent.

Chemistry

The chemical structure of propofol includes a phenol ring substituted with 2 isopropyl groups.

The chemical structure for propofol

The chemical structure of propofol

Image: “Propofol” by Harbin. License: Public Domain

Mechanism of action

  • Not fully understood
  • May involve facilitation of inhibitory neurotransmission Neurotransmission The communication from a neuron to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a synapse. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a neurotransmitter that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across electrical synapses. Synapses and Neurotransmission mediated by binding of the GABAA receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors
  • Other receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors and ion channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane may be involved in the effect.

Physiologic effects

  • Cardiovascular:
    • Systemic vascular resistance Systemic vascular resistance Afterload is the resistance in the aorta that prevents blood from leaving the heart. Afterload represents the pressure the LV needs to overcome to eject blood into the aorta. Cardiac Mechanics → ↓ arterial blood pressure
    • Preload Preload Cardiac Mechanics
    • ↓ Inotropy 
    • Impaired baroreflex Baroreflex A response by the baroreceptors to increased blood pressure. Increased pressure stretches blood vessels which activates the baroreceptors in the vessel walls. The net response of the central nervous system is a reduction of central sympathetic outflow. This reduces blood pressure both by decreasing peripheral vascular resistance and by lowering cardiac output. Because the baroreceptors are tonically active, the baroreflex can compensate rapidly for both increases and decreases in blood pressure. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure response to hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
  • Respiratory:
  • CNS:
    • ↓ CBF → ↓ ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
    • Antiemetic actions

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Distribution: 
    • Lipid soluble Lipid Soluble Chloramphenicol → quick brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification uptake
    • More rapid induction and less “hangover”
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 40 minutes
  • Metabolism: 
    • Hepatic conjugation Conjugation A parasexual process in bacteria; algae; fungi; and ciliate eukaryota for achieving exchange of chromosome material during fusion of two cells. In bacteria, this is a unidirectional transfer of genetic material; in protozoa it is a bi-directional exchange. In algae and fungi, it is a form of sexual reproduction, with the union of male and female gametes. Bacteriology into inactive metabolites
    • Extrahepatic metabolism to a lesser extent
  • Excretion: renal

Indications

  • Induction of general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts:
    • Quick onset and recovery
    • Bronchodilating effect
    • No dosing adjustment for renal or hepatic impairment
  • Procedural sedation
  • Other uses:
    • Used in the ICU ICU Hospital units providing continuous surveillance and care to acutely ill patients. West Nile Virus for prolonged sedation
    • Status epilepticus Status Epilepticus A prolonged seizure or seizures repeated frequently enough to prevent recovery between episodes occurring over a period of 20-30 minutes. The most common subtype is generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus, a potentially fatal condition associated with neuronal injury and respiratory and metabolic dysfunction. Nonconvulsive forms include petit mal status and complex partial status, which may manifest as behavioral disturbances. Simple partial status epilepticus consists of persistent motor, sensory, or autonomic seizures that do not impair cognition. Subclinical status epilepticus generally refers to seizures occurring in an unresponsive or comatose individual in the absence of overt signs of seizure activity. Seizures

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

Adverse effects:

  • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension at induction
  • Respiratory depression
  • Bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias
  • Hypertriglyceridemia Hypertriglyceridemia A condition of elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood. Lipid Disorders (can lead to pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis)
  • Myoclonus Myoclonus Involuntary shock-like contractions, irregular in rhythm and amplitude, followed by relaxation, of a muscle or a group of muscles. This condition may be a feature of some central nervous system diseases; (e.g., epilepsy-myoclonic). Nocturnal myoclonus is the principal feature of the nocturnal myoclonus syndrome. Neurological Examination, muscle twitching, opisthotonus Opisthotonus Tetanus, and/or hiccups
  • Occasionally causes ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) changes (prolonged QT interval QT interval Electrocardiogram (ECG)), but rarely clinically significant
  • Discolored green-tinted urine (rare)
  • Anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction and angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema

Drug interactions:

  • Coadministration of midazolam Midazolam A short-acting hypnotic-sedative drug with anxiolytic and amnestic properties. It is used in dentistry, cardiac surgery, endoscopic procedures, as preanesthetic medication, and as an adjunct to local anesthesia. The short duration and cardiorespiratory stability makes it useful in poor-risk, elderly, and cardiac patients. It is water-soluble at ph less than 4 and lipid-soluble at physiological pH. Benzodiazepines can reduce the required dose of propofol for induction.

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:

Overdose and toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation

Propofol infusion syndrome (PRIS) occurs in individuals with prolonged infusions of propofol:

Clinical presentation:

  • Metabolic acidosis Acidosis A pathologic condition of acid accumulation or depletion of base in the body. The two main types are respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis, due to metabolic acid build up. Respiratory Acidosis
  • Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium (K+) concentration >5.2 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain the serum K+ concentration between 3.5 and 5.2 mEq/L, despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hyperkalemia can be due to a variety of causes, which include transcellular shifts, tissue breakdown, inadequate renal excretion, and drugs. Hyperkalemia
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by muscle necrosis and the release of toxic intracellular contents, especially myoglobin, into the circulation. Rhabdomyolysis
  • Bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias
  • May progress to: 
    • Renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome
    • Cardiovascular collapse
    • Death

Management:

  • Discontinuation of propofol 
  • Supportive care

Fentanyl

Overview

  • Commonly used opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation in modern anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts practice
  • A very potent synthetic opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation (50–100x more potent than morphine Morphine The principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic. Morphine has widespread effects in the central nervous system and on smooth muscle. Opioid Analgesics)
  • Most frequently used as a sedative in intubated individuals

Chemistry

  • Monocarboxylic acid amide
  • Related to the phenylpiperidines
The chemical structure of fentanyl

The chemical structure of fentanyl Fentanyl A potent narcotic analgesic, abuse of which leads to habituation or addiction. It is primarily a mu-opioid agonist. Fentanyl is also used as an adjunct to general anesthetics, and as an anesthetic for induction and maintenance. Opioid Analgesics

Image: “2D structure of fentanyl Fentanyl A potent narcotic analgesic, abuse of which leads to habituation or addiction. It is primarily a mu-opioid agonist. Fentanyl is also used as an adjunct to general anesthetics, and as an anesthetic for induction and maintenance. Opioid Analgesics” by Harbin. License: Public Domain

Mechanism of action

  • Mu-selective opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation agonist → alters pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways perception Perception The process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted. Psychiatric Assessment and increases pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways threshold Threshold Minimum voltage necessary to generate an action potential (an all-or-none response) Skeletal Muscle Contraction
  • 100x more potent than morphine Morphine The principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic. Morphine has widespread effects in the central nervous system and on smooth muscle. Opioid Analgesics

Physiologic effects

  • Cardiovascular: vagal activation → ↓ heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology and slightly ↓ arterial blood pressure
  • Respiratory: respiratory depression
  • CNS:
    • ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
    • Relaxation
    • Sedation
    • Analgesia Analgesia Methods of pain relief that may be used with or in place of analgesics. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
    • Euphoria Euphoria An exaggerated feeling of physical and emotional well-being not consonant with apparent stimuli or events; usually of psychologic origin, but also seen in organic brain disease and toxic states. Hepatic Encephalopathy
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Muscle rigidity Muscle rigidity Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of basal ganglia diseases. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from muscle spasticity. Motor Neuron Lesions 

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Indications

  • Induction of general anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts (often as an adjuvant Adjuvant Substances that augment, stimulate, activate, potentiate, or modulate the immune response at either the cellular or humoral level. The classical agents (freund’s adjuvant, bcg, corynebacterium parvum, et al.) contain bacterial antigens. Some are endogenous (e.g., histamine, interferon, transfer factor, tuftsin, interleukin-1). Their mode of action is either non-specific, resulting in increased immune responsiveness to a wide variety of antigens, or antigen-specific, i.e., affecting a restricted type of immune response to a narrow group of antigens. The therapeutic efficacy of many biological response modifiers is related to their antigen-specific immunoadjuvanticity. Vaccination therapy)
  • Sedation
  • Analgesia Analgesia Methods of pain relief that may be used with or in place of analgesics. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts:
    • Postoperative pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Severe nonoperative pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways:
      • Includes cancer-related chronic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways 
      • Transcutaneous patch Patch Nonpalpable lesion > 1 cm in diameter Generalized and Localized Rashes available
      • Rapid-acting oral transmucosal formulations available

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

Adverse effects:

  • Respiratory depression or arrest
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Visual disturbances
  • Hallucinations Hallucinations Subjectively experienced sensations in the absence of an appropriate stimulus, but which are regarded by the individual as real. They may be of organic origin or associated with mental disorders. Schizophrenia
  • Delirium Delirium Delirium is a medical condition characterized by acute disturbances in attention and awareness. Symptoms may fluctuate during the course of a day and involve memory deficits and disorientation. Delirium 
  • Dyskinesia
  • Narcotic ileus Ileus A condition caused by the lack of intestinal peristalsis or intestinal motility without any mechanical obstruction. This interference of the flow of intestinal contents often leads to intestinal obstruction. Ileus may be classified into postoperative, inflammatory, metabolic, neurogenic, and drug-induced. Small Bowel Obstruction
  • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation

Drug interactions:

  • Respiratory depressant and potentiation of the CNS in conjunction with:
    • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines
    • Skeletal muscle relaxants Skeletal muscle relaxants Spasmolytics are skeletal muscle relaxants medications which reduce forceful, involuntary muscle contraction. These medications have a variety of mechanisms, and can either act centrally to inhibit somatic motor neuron signals, or peripherally to prevent calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Spasmolytics
    • Intoxicants
    • Other anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
  • Serotonin syndrome Serotonin syndrome Serotonin syndrome is a life-threatening condition caused by large increases in serotonergic activity. This condition can be triggered by taking excessive doses of certain serotonergic medications or taking these medications in combination with other drugs that increase their activity. Serotonin Syndrome can occur in conjunction with:
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Antidepressants encompass several drug classes and are used to treat individuals with depression, anxiety, and psychiatric conditions, as well as those with chronic pain and symptoms of menopause. Antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and many other drugs in a class of their own. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Similar Antidepressants
    • Tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants
    • Triptans Triptans Triptans and ergot alkaloids are agents used mainly for the management of acute migraines. The therapeutic effect is induced by binding to serotonin receptors, which causes reduced vasoactive neuropeptide release, pain conduction, and intracranial vasoconstriction. Triptans and Ergot Alkaloids
  • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inhibitors prolong duration of effect and/or drug levels.
  • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inducers may decrease duration of effect and/or drug levels.

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:

  • Known intolerance to opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics
  • Significant respiratory depression
  • Acute or severe bronchial asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma
  • GI obstruction or ileus Ileus A condition caused by the lack of intestinal peristalsis or intestinal motility without any mechanical obstruction. This interference of the flow of intestinal contents often leads to intestinal obstruction. Ileus may be classified into postoperative, inflammatory, metabolic, neurogenic, and drug-induced. Small Bowel Obstruction
  • Liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Head trauma Head trauma Head trauma occurs when external forces are directed to the skull and brain structures, resulting in damage to the skull, brain, and intracranial structures. Head injuries can be classified as open (penetrating) or closed (blunt), and primary (from the initial trauma) or secondary (indirect brain injury), and range from mild to severe and life-threatening. Head Trauma or ↑ ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)

Overdose and toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation

Clinical presentation:

  • Generalized CNS depression
  • Respiratory depression
  • Miosis Miosis Pupil: Physiology and Abnormalities
  • Moderate-to-severe hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
  • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus, hallucinations Hallucinations Subjectively experienced sensations in the absence of an appropriate stimulus, but which are regarded by the individual as real. They may be of organic origin or associated with mental disorders. Schizophrenia, or dysphoria may be displayed.

Management:

  • Antidote Antidote An antidote is a substance that counteracts poisoning or toxicity. Substances that can cause poisoning include heavy metals (from occupation, treatments, or diet), alcohols, environmental toxins, and medications. Antidotes of Common Poisonings: naloxone Naloxone A specific opiate antagonist that has no agonist activity. It is a competitive antagonist at mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. Opioid Analgesics
  • Supportive care

References

  1. The practice of anesthesiology. Butterworth IV, J. F., Mackey, D. C., & Wasnick, J. D. (Eds.), (2018). Morgan & Mikhail’s Clinical Anesthesiology, 6e. McGraw-Hill. https://accessmedicine-mhmedical-com.ezproxy.unbosque.edu.co/content.aspx?bookid=2444&sectionid=189634971 
  2. Intravenous anesthetics. Butterworth IV, J. F., Mackey, D. C., & Wasnick, J. D. (Eds.), (2018). Morgan & Mikhail’s Clinical Anesthesiology, 6e. McGraw-Hill. https://accessmedicine-mhmedical-com.ezproxy.unbosque.edu.co/content.aspx?bookid=2444&sectionid=189636049
  3. Skibiski, J., & Abdijadid, S. (2021). Barbiturates. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539731/ 
  4. Bounds, C. G., & Nelson, V. L. (2021). Benzodiazepines. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470159/ 
  5. Rosenbaum, S. B., Gupta, V., & Palacios, J. L. (2021). Ketamine. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470357/
  6. Orhurhu, V. J., Vashisht, R., Claus, L. E., & Cohen, S. P. (2021). Ketamine toxicity. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541087/ 
  7. Williams, L. M., Boyd, K. L., & Fitzgerald, B. M. (2021). Etomidate. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535364/ 
  8. Folino, T. B., Muco, E., Safadi, A. O., & Parks, L. J. (2021). Propofol. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430884/ 
  9. Egan, T. D., & Newberry, C. (2018). Opioids. In M. C., Pardo, & Miller, R. D., (eds.), pp. 123–138.
  10. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 3345, Fentanyl. Retrieved June 23, 2021, from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Fentanyl 
  11. Ramos-Matos, C. F., Bistas, K. G., & Lopez-Ojeda, W. (2021). Fentanyl. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459275/ 
  12. Yaksh, T., & Wallace, M. Opioids, Analgesia, and Pain Management. In Brunton, L. L., Hilal-Dandan, R., Knollmann, B. C. (eds.) Goodman & Gilman’s: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13e. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved June 23, 2021, from https://accessmedicine-mhmedical-com.ezproxy.unbosque.edu.co/content.aspx?bookid=2189&sectionid=170269577 
  13. Schiller, E. Y., Goyal, A., & Mechanic, O. J. (2021). Opioid overdose. StatPearls. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470415/ 

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