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Active ingredient: Etomidate - Brands, Medical Use, Clinical Data

Brands, Medical Use, Clinical Data

Drug Category

  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives

Dosage Forms

  • Solution for injection (2 mg/mL)

Brands / Synonyms

Amidate; Hypnomidate


Used in the induction of general anesthesia.


Etomidate is a non-barbiturate hypnotic that acts at the level of the reticular-activating system to produce anesthesia. Etomidate is an imidazole compound that appears to depress CNS function via GABA. Duration of action is intermediate between thiopental and methohexital, and recovery from a single dose is rapid with little residual depression. Like the barbiturates and propofol, etomidate is does not induce analgesia. Etomidate induces unconsciousness within one circulation time. Recovery is rapid as a result of extensive redistribution and rapid metabolism.

Mechanism of Action

Etomidate binds at a distinct binding site associated with a Cl- ionopore at the GABAA receptor, increasing the duration of time for which the Cl- ionopore is open. The post-synaptic inhibitory effect of GABA in the thalamus is, therefore, prolonged.


Not Available


Undesirable side effects of etomidate that may limit its use include pain on injection, myoclonus and adrenocortical suppression lasting 4-6 hours following an induction dose.

Biotrnasformation / Drug Metabolism

Hepatic. Metabolized rapidly by ester hydrolysis to inactive metabolites.


Contraindicated in pregnancy (labor/delivery).

Drug Interactions

The following drug interactions have been reported with etomidate.

Drug Effect
   Probenecid    Prolonged action of etomidate 
   Diazoxide    Hypotension
   Zimelidine    etomidate antagonism 
   Opioid analgesics    Decreased antinociceptive action
   Aminophylline     Etomidate antagonism
   Midazolam    Synergism

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