Pharmacological Actions

The benzodiazepines, when given by slow IV infusion to induce anesthesia, have minimal influences on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Thus, they may be logical substitutes for barbiturates in poor-risk patients who cannot tolerate cardiovascular depression. In other respects, they appear pharmacologically similar to the barbiturates. IV administration causes unconsciousness without analgesia; skeletal muscle relaxation is inadequate for intubation or short surgical procedures. Consequently, when these characteristics of anesthetic management are desired, benzodiazepines must be coadministered with appropriate analgesic drugs and neuromuscular blocking agents.

The popularity of the benzodiazepines as an anesthetic supplement in cardiac surgery is related to their amnesic potential. They can ensure unawareness during the initial period, when the anesthetics are being diluted in the fluid of the bypass circuit. Lorazepam is often chosen for this purpose because it is longer acting and more potent than either midazolam or diazepam. Benzodiazepine administration may cause amnesia even when used in doses that do not produce unconsciousness. Antegrade amnesia may occur with the doses that are used to relieve preoperative anxiety.

Do Not Panic

Do Not Panic

This guide Don't Panic has tips and additional information on what you should do when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. With so much going on in the world today with taking care of your family, working full time, dealing with office politics and other things, you could experience a serious meltdown. All of these things could at one point cause you to stress out and snap.

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