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Brevital (Methohexital Sodium) - Summary



Brevital should be used only in hospital or ambulatory care settings that provide for continuous monitoring of respiratory (e.g. pulse oximetry) and cardiac function. Immediate availability of resuscitative drugs and age- and size-appropriate equipment for bag/valve/mask ventilation and intubation and personnel trained in their use and skilled in airway management should be assured. For deeply sedated patients, a designated individual other than the practitioner performing the procedure should be present to continuously monitor the patient. (See WARNINGS)



Methohexital sodium is a rapid, ultrashort-acting barbiturate anesthetic.

Brevital Sodium can be used in

as follows:

  1. For intravenous induction of anesthesia prior to the use of other general anesthetic agents.
  2. For intravenous induction of anesthesia and as an adjunct to subpotent inhalational anesthetic agents (such as nitrous oxide in oxygen) for short surgical procedures; Brevital Sodium may be given by infusion or intermittent injection.
  3. For use along with other parenteral agents, usually narcotic analgesics, to supplement subpotent inhalational anesthetic agents (such as nitrous oxide in oxygen) for longer surgical procedures.
  4. As intravenous anesthesia for short surgical, diagnostic, or therapeutic procedures associated with minimal painful stimuli (see WARNINGS).
  5. As an agent for inducing a hypnotic state.

Brevital Sodium can be used in

pediatric patients older than 1 month
as follows:

  1. For rectal or intramuscular induction of anesthesia prior to the use of other general anesthetic agents.
  2. For rectal or intramuscular induction of anesthesia and as an adjunct to subpotent inhalational anesthetic agents for short surgical procedures.
  3. As rectal or intramuscular anesthesia for short surgical, diagnostic, or therapeutic procedures associated with minimal painful stimuli.

See all Brevital indications & dosage >>


Media Articles Related to Brevital (Methohexital)

Study identifies characteristic EEG pattern of high-dose nitrous oxide anesthesia
Source: Pain / Anesthetics News From Medical News Today [2015.07.07]
While nitrous oxide gas has been used recreationally and medically for more than 200 years - originally for its euphoric and then for its pain relieving and anesthetic properties - the mechanism...

Surgery Patients Might Not Need Sedative Before Anesthesia
Source: MedicineNet lorazepam Specialty [2015.03.04]
Title: Surgery Patients Might Not Need Sedative Before Anesthesia
Category: Health News
Created: 3/3/2015 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 3/4/2015 12:00:00 AM

Women With MCI Decline Twice as Fast as Men
Source: Medscape NeurologyHeadlines [2015.07.21]
Women with mild cognitive impairment decline twice as fast as men with MCI, and also have a much higher risk for cognitive problems after surgery and general anesthesia.
Medscape Medical News

For children with autism, trips to the dentist just got easier
Source: Dentistry News From Medical News Today [2015.05.14]
Adjusting the environment to be more soothing could eliminate the need for general anesthesia to cope with routine cleaningsGoing to the dentist might have just gotten a little less scary for the...

more news >>

Published Studies Related to Brevital (Methohexital)

The comparative hemodynamic effects of methohexital and remifentanil in electroconvulsive therapy. [2005.03]
Remifentanil is a short acting opioid frequently used to supplement general anesthesia for brief procedures. Narcotic agents are known for their ability to blunt autonomic responses to stimuli such as laryngoscopy and intubation and do not alter seizure threshold...

The comparative effects of sevoflurane and methohexital for electroconvulsive therapy. [2003.12]
The standard anesthetic agent for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been methohexital... We conclude that, when indicated, sevoflurane could provide a suitable alternative treatment option to methohexital, but some limitations, including shortened seizure duration and potential side effects, should be kept in mind.

Seizure duration with remifentanil/methohexital vs. methohexital alone in middle-aged patients undergoing electroconvulsive therapy. [2003.10]
CONCLUSION: Substituting part of the methohexital dose with remifentanil is a useful anesthetic technique to prolong seizure duration in middle-aged patients requiring a 1.5-fold higher induction dose of methohexital than elderly patients, the only population studied to date for the combined use of methohexital and remifentanil in ECT.

A randomized comparison of propofol and methohexital as general anesthetics for vacuum abortion. [2003.09]
The objective of this study was to determine whether propofol and methohexital differ in their efficacy, acceptability, cost and side effects when used as the single anesthetic agent for inducing general anesthesia in first-trimester vacuum abortion... In our population of midwestern patients in a major urban area, propofol use had modest advantages over methohexital when used as single agents as judged by first recovery charge nurses, but patients found them equally acceptable.

Randomized clinical trial of propofol versus methohexital for procedural sedation during fracture and dislocation reduction in the emergency department. [2003.09]
Although methohexital has been well studied for use in emergency department (ED) procedural sedation (PS), propofol has been evaluated less extensively for ED use. OBJECTIVE: The authors hypothesized that there is no difference in the depth of sedation and the rate of respiratory depression (RD) between propofol and methohexital in PS during the reduction of fractures and dislocations in the ED... CONCLUSIONS: The authors were unable to detect a significant difference in the level of subclinical RD or the level of sedation by BIS between the two agents. The use of either agent seems to be safe in the ED.

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Brevital (Methohexital)

Use of Ketamine vs Methohexital for Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) on Patient Recovery and Re-orientation Time [Recruiting]

Ketamine Anesthesia in Electroconvulsive Therapy [Recruiting]

Use of Ketamine to Enhance Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in Depression [Recruiting]
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most robust antidepressant treatments available. However, there is the potential for significant acute and longer term adverse cognitive effects with ECT and the antidepressant response requires multiple treatment sessions, increasing risk of adverse effects. Further, antidepressant response to ECT is often less than maximal and relapse is common. Growing preclinical and clinical evidence of the rapid-acting antidepressant properties of the anesthetic agent ketamine suggests the use of ketamine anesthesia as a strategy to increase rate of response and shorten treatment course in the administration of ECT. In addition, preclinical and clinical evidence suggests the potential of ketamine to decrease the adverse cognitive effects associated with ECT.

The investigators propose a pilot study to measure both acute therapeutic efficacy and cognitive side effects of ECT using ketamine compared to methohexital in depressed patients. The investigators will also explore other parameters of ECT such as seizure duration and morphology, as well as hemodynamic and behavioral changes.

Ketamine as an Augmentation Strategy for Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in Depression [Recruiting]
The study aims to compare outcomes of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) using ketamine versus methohexital anesthesia in depressed patients. The investigators hypothesize that patients who receive ketamine anesthesia during ECT will achieve remission status faster than those receiving methohexital anesthesia. Also, at the end of the ECT course subjects will display fewer cognitive side effects compared to those treated with methohexital anesthesia.

Comparison of Thiopental and Propofol as Anaesteticum During ECT [Recruiting]
Electroconvulsive therapy is the most effective treatment in severe depression and the effect is related to the generalized seizure induced by the treatment. General anesthesia is used during the treatment. Since only a brief period of unconsciousness is required anesthetics with a rapid recovery profile are used. Methohexital, a barbiturat, is internationally considered "the golden standard", bot other short-acting anesthetics are used. In Denmark the most frequent used anestheticum for ECT is Thiopental, a barbiturat, but also Propofol, a non-barbiturat, is used in many psychiatric departments. Several studies have shown that Propofol reduce seizure duration in comparison with barbiturates. So far, no studies have demonstrated any clinical implications of the reduced seiziure duration. However, these studies have included rather few patiens, most have been retrospective, and in the only prospective study conducted, uni-lateral ECT was used. The aim of this study is to compare the clinical effect of ECT in patients anesthesized with either Propofol or Thiopental. The hypothesis is that the shorter duration of seizures found with Propofol as anestheticum will increase the number of treatments needed to clinial respons. Furthermore we want to study differences in EEG-relate parameters previously shown to have prognostic value. Hospitalized patients with major depression, who is to be treated with ECT, are randomized to anesthizia with either Thiopental or Propofol. They are rated with Hamilton depression scale and BDI before treatment, after six treatments and when treatment is concluded. When treatment is ended the patients are furthermore rated with MMSE to evaluate their degree of cognitive impairment.

more trials >>

Page last updated: 2015-07-21

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