Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Propofol Overdose Treatment: A Quick Guide

Before we look at the actual treatment of a Propofol overdose, let’s explore some basic facts about this drug including what it is and how it’s administered...

Propofol is a fast-acting anaesthetic drug that is also known by its brand name, Diprivan. It’s a sedative-hypnotic agent that is intravenously administered or injected for optimum results. If administered correctly, Propofol can be expected to work in as little as thirty to sixty seconds. Its effects, depending on the dosage, range from sedation to total unconsciousness. It has one legitimate use and that is to sedate patients for medical procedures. Due to the fact that it can only be injected or taken intravenously to work properly, it is always administered by a medical professional. This makes cases of an overdose rare.

It is crucial that the patient is also monitored after Propofol has been administered as it can cause shallow breathing. For this reason, some patients require an oxygen mask while sedated.

It can also lead to decreased or increased blood pressure and has been known to affect the heart rate by either slowing it down or speeding it up. It has also been linked to seizures in some patients.

To induce anaesthesia in a patient, a dosage of 40mg is administered intravenously every ten seconds. Because of how it works, Propofol is rarely given in one large dose and is instead given in regular smaller spurts. To maintain a state of anaesthesia it is normal that between 100 and 200mg is further given after the initial dose. Usually the dosages for children and elderly people are much lower.

In order for an overdose to occur, a dosage in excess of 200mg is required. Considering a state of sedation or anesthesia is achieved after just 40mg, a self induced overdose is quite unlikely. That said, it has been known to happen.

Ok, the treatment ...

Professional medical attention is vitally important and cannot be emphasized enough in cases of an overdose. In a medical environment, the immediate first step taken by the attending nurse or doctor would be the instant removal of the intravenous drip in order to avoid respiratory failure. Other actions must then be taken to counteract the possible effects of respiratory or cardiac failure.

Other drugs may also be administered to increase blood pressure and to aid the redistribution of blood and oxygen to the tissues ensuring the Propofol is properly eliminated from the system.

The effectiveness of a Propofol overdose treatment depends on a number of factors including the size of the dosage, the health of the patient and the state of the patient’s liver and kidneys which will determine how quickly the Propofol can be metabolized and eliminated from the system.

Unlike Demerol or Oxycontin, Propofol has no antidote. Both Demerol and Oxycontin are opiates and an opiate overdose can be counteracted by administering an opioid antagonist such as Narcan. This has the effect of bringing the patient back to full consciousness within minutes if not seconds.

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« Previous article: The Propofol side effects in children.

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Sam said...

It's nice to know more about that drug and how it actually affects the user. Thanks for sharing.

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private health insurance said...

There is much more to the drug than how it's advertised, and knowing how it could be abused or misused is essential for people who take it.

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There needs to be proper regulation about the medicine. This is to take control of its usage.

Wahoo Fitness UK said...

Although propofol is only to be used legitimately to sedate patients who are to undergo medical procedures, it has been abused by people who suffer from amnesia. It is always important to note that a medical professional should administer this drug to a patient. One classic example of the lethal effects of propofol is the death of Michael Jackson.

hospice services said...

Choose the appropriate treatment for the condition. There are several medication available.

Adele Simpson said...

This is the reason why these medicines along with other drugs that have a sedative and anesthetic effects should only be administered by a licensed doctor or medical practitioner. This will prevent toxicities and other adverse effects. The government is actually implementing a rule regarding this concern about prohibited and prescription drugs.


Jade Turner said...

High Generation Drugs may it be an analgesic or anesthetic should only be taken upon doctor's prescription. This prevents a person from getting toxicities that can be dreadful. Many people are experiencing pains like headaches, neck pain and more, thus resorting them from taking analgesics. However, analgesics and other pain medications have adverse effects if taken erroneously. It is therefore an imperative to always take medications with doctor's prescription.

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The treatment of propofol overdoes is shared on the post here. Good post

Anonymous said...

wouldn't this be the ultimate suicide drug? Pain free and peaceful, no trauma.......

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How it could be abused or misused is essential for people who take it.There is much more to the drug than how it's advertised, and knowing.

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Jared Harris said...

The reason why people die from overdosed drugs is because they don't follow the prescription given to them by their respective doctors.

Randy Gainer said...

I think propofol is one of those drugs that are really good at what they do, but have a pretty thin threshold for problems. I wonder if they'll be able to develop a more stable variant for future use by anesthesiologists.

Matthew E. Mason said...

Weighing the pros and cons of this anaesthetic drug, then it is advisable that the anesthesiologist avoid as much as possible giving this. Unless he can accurately or efficiently administer this, the possibility of overdose without a ready antidote is an unworthy risk.

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