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Anti-seizure drug could be fatal
Date:10/27/2008

67 mcg/kg/min. Other agents, such as midazolam and pentobarbital, were used in the other seven (18 percent) patients (group B). Within group A, three patients had sudden unexplained cardiac arrest while on propofol infusions, resulting in two deaths, while no deaths occurred in group B. Median hospital stay (12 days) and ICU length of stay (9 days) did not differ between the two groups. The overall occurrence of PRIS was 30 percent of patients in group A (seven patients with bradycardia, three patients with sudden unexplained cardiac arrest) compared with less than 3 percent (one patient with bradycardia) in group B.

In light of the new data, Dr. Iyer advises that caution should be taken with the use of propofol to treat patients with RSE. "There are several other medications we can turn to in the case of uncontrolled seizures," he said. "Alternative agents should first be tried for patients with RSE, and propofol should only be used after exhausting all other options."

"With increasing awareness of the risks of propofol, physicians may become more cautious about using propofol for prolonged periods and at high doses," James A. L. Mathers, Jr., MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians.


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Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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