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Pharmacotherapy. 2005 May;25(5 Pt 2):28S-33S.

Propofol: an immunomodulating agent.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) is a potent intravenous hypnotic agent widely administered for induction and maintenance of anesthesia and for sedation in the intensive care unit. Propofol is insoluble in water and therefore is formulated in a lipid emulsion. In addition, a preservative (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid [EDTA] or sodium metabisulfite) is added to retard bacterial growth. Propofol has antiinflammatory properties, decreasing production of proinflammatory cytokines, altering expression of nitric oxide, and inhibiting neutrophil function. Propofol also is a potent antioxidant. The added preservatives have biologic activity; EDTA has antiinflammatory properties, whereas metabisulfite may cause lipid peroxidation. The antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties of propofol may have beneficial effects in patients with sepsis and systemic inflammatory response syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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