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Anaesthesia. 1989 Jul;44(7):603-5.

Reversal of prolonged sedation using flumazenil in critically ill patients.

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Yorkshire Regional Health Authority.


Thirteen critically ill patients received flumazenil after multiple doses, or an infusion, of midazolam was used as part of a sedation regimen to facilitate intensive care. All patients remained excessively sedated after the midazolam was stopped for 6 hours or longer. An improvement in conscious level occurred in eight patients (61%). In four of these eight patients, the duration of action of flumazenil necessitated its continued administration by an infusion to maintain the improvement in conscious level. The dose of flumazenil required each hour was less than estimated previously; this indicates that it may be subjected to similar alterations of elimination as those described for midazolam. Flumazenil appears to be a useful drug for the reversal of prolonged benzodiazepine sedation but repeated bolus doses or an infusion are needed if significant accumulation of benzodiazepines has occurred.

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