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Flumazenil (By injection)

Treats drowsiness caused by sedative medicines called benzodiazepines, following surgery or drug overdose.

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Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Brand names include
Flumazenil Novaplus
Drug classes About this
Antidote

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy

Cirrhosis is a chronic disorder of the liver. People with cirrhosis may develop hepatic encephalopathy, a condition which results in poor brain functioning. In some people, there are obvious clinical features of disturbed brain functioning (overt hepatic encephalopathy); these changes may be short‐lived or persist for long periods of time. In other people, there are no obvious clinical changes but some aspects of brain function, such as attention and the ability to perform complex tasks are impaired when tested (minimal hepatic encephalopathy). The reason people develop hepatic encephalopathy is complex but changes in brain neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers which allow nerve cells to communicate with one another, may play a role. The neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is responsible for slowing or inhibiting brain activity and is thought to play a particularly important role.

Should a benzodiazepine antagonist be used in unconscious patients presenting to the emergency department?

Patients in coma with suspected drug poisoning are commonly encountered in the emergency department. Benzodiazepines are one of the most commonly used drugs in self-poisoning. Flumazenil, a benzodiazepine antagonist has been suggested as a diagnostic and treatment tool in suspected poisoning of unclear cause, but caution is required due to potential side effects. No systemic review of this literature has been done on this topic.

Drug Class Review: Newer Drugs for Insomnia: Final Report Update 2 [Internet]

Insomnia is a serious health problem that affects millions of people. Population surveys have estimated the prevalence of insomnia to be about 30% to 50% of the general population. About three-fourths of people who have trouble sleeping say that the problem is "occasional," averaging about 6 nights per month, with one-fourth having frequent or chronic insomnia, averaging about 16 nights per month. Individuals with insomnia most often report a combination of difficulty falling asleep and intermittent wakefulness during sleep. Treatment of insomnia involves behavioral changes, such as minimizing habits that interfere with sleep (for example, drinking coffee or engaging in stressful activities in the evening), and pharmacotherapy with sedating antidepressants (for example, trazodone), sedating antihistamines, anticholinergics, benzodiazepines, or nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics. The benzodiazepines and the newer sedative hypnotics zolpidem, zaleplon, zopiclone, and eszopiclone work through gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors. Ramelteon, a hypnotic approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2005, is a selective melatonin receptor (MT1 and MT2) agonist. New nonbenzodiazepine drugs have been sought for multiple reasons, including reduction of the risk of tolerance, dependence, and abuse associated with benzodiazepines. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the comparative evidence on benefits and harms of these medications in people with insomnia to help policymakers and clinicians make informed choices about the use of newer drugs for insomnia.

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Summaries for consumers

Flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy

Cirrhosis is a chronic disorder of the liver. People with cirrhosis may develop hepatic encephalopathy, a condition which results in poor brain functioning. In some people, there are obvious clinical features of disturbed brain functioning (overt hepatic encephalopathy); these changes may be short‐lived or persist for long periods of time. In other people, there are no obvious clinical changes but some aspects of brain function, such as attention and the ability to perform complex tasks are impaired when tested (minimal hepatic encephalopathy). The reason people develop hepatic encephalopathy is complex but changes in brain neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers which allow nerve cells to communicate with one another, may play a role. The neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is responsible for slowing or inhibiting brain activity and is thought to play a particularly important role.

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