Propofol (Diprivan) is rapidly acting, has a short recovery time, and possesses antiemetic properties. A rapid onset of anesthesia (50 seconds) is achieved, and if no other drug is administered, recovery will take place in 4 to 8 minutes. The recovery is attributed to redistribution of the drug and rapid metabolism to glucuronide and sulfate conjugates by the liver and extrahepatic tissues, such as intestine and kidney.
Rapid recovery and its antiemetic properties make propofol anesthesia very popular as an induction agent for outpatient anesthesia. Propofol can also be used to supplement inhalational anesthesia in longer procedures. Both continuous infusion of propofol for conscious sedation and with opioids for the maintenance of anesthesia for cardiac surgery are acceptable techniques.
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