Flumazenil reduces the duration of thiopentone but not of propofol anaesthesia in humans

Argyro Fassoulaki, Constantine Sarantopoulos, Konstantine Papilas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The effect of flumazenil (F) on the duration of anaesthesia produced by a single dose of thiopentone (T) and propofol (P) was investigated in a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Eighty-four patients anaesthetized with N2O in O2 and either thiopentone 7 mg · kg-1 or propofol 3 mg · kg-1 for minor gynaecological procedures were studied. Patients were randomly allocated to pretreatment with either 0.5 mg of flumazenil (F) or 5 ml of normal saline (NS) in one of the following groups: T/NS, T/F, P/NS, or P/F. Anaesthetic requirements were assessed by recording the time between the injection of anaesthetic and the first movement observed during the procedure. The time elapsed from the administration of thiopentone to the first movement was 6.5 ± 1.6 min for the T/NS group and 5.3 ± 2.4 min for the T/F group (P < 0.05). The first movement after propofol administration was observed at 7.0 ± 2.2 min in the P/NS group and at 7.1 ± 4.5 min in the P/F group (NS). These data suggest that pretreatment with 0.5 mg of flumazenil iv reduces the duration of thiopentone but not of propofol anaesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-12
Number of pages3
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • anaesthetics intravenous: propofol, thiopentone
  • antagonists: benzodiazepines, flumazenil
  • potency: anaesthetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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