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Medical Practice

Controlled Sedation with Alphaxalone-Alphadolone

Br Med J 1974; 2 doi: (Published 22 June 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;2:656
  1. M. A. E. Ramsay,
  2. T. M. Savege,
  3. B. R. J. Simpson,
  4. R. Goodwin


    Alphaxalone-alphadolone (Althesin), diluted and administered as a controlled infusion, was used as a sedative for 30 patients in an intensive therapy unit. This technique allowed rapid and accurate control of the level of sedation. It had three particularly useful applications: it provided “light sleep,” allowed rapid variation in the level of sedation, and enabled repeated assessment of the central nervous system.

    Sedation was satisfactory for 86% of the total time, and no serious complications were attributed to the use of the drug. Furthermore, though alphaxalone-alphadolone was given for periods up to 20 days there was no evidence of tachyphylaxis or delay in recovery time.

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