Diprivan® is an intravenous medication used as an anesthesia to sedate patients before surgery or to help them relax during certain types of medical procedures. A fast-working drug that begins to take effect after only 40 seconds, it can allow patients to remain awake if needed, but keeps them still and calm during the procedure. Colonoscopies and dental procedures are two examples in which this drug is used.
As with all general anesthesia, there is some question by scientists as to how Diprivan® actually works. Researchers have speculated that it modulates the inhibiting function of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a chemical in the brain that induces relaxation while decreasing stress and anxiety.
There are some medical conditions affected when taking this medication. Patients should inform their doctors about any types of health issues or allergies that they may have. If an individual is taking a narcotic or other type of pain reliever, he may have an increased chance of having a side effect occur. He should inform his doctor and pharmacist about medication allergies along with any herbal supplements he may take, as well as food allergies that he has. People that are allergic to eggs or soy products may have problems taking Diprivan®, and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should also not take this drug.
Patients should be aware of certain side effects associated with taking Diprivan®. It may cause mood swings or a change in emotions. Individuals suffering from these side effects may appear dizzy and drowsy or have trouble with their coordination. In some cases, more severe reactions such as difficulty in breathing, swelling at the injection site and tightness of the chest could also occur.
Propofol is the generic name for Diprivan®. The generic version of this drug gained notoriety and became a popular point of speculation in the summer of 2009, during an investigation into the death of American pop star Michael Jackson. Questions about his use of this drug came to the forefront after police detectives discovered bottles of the medication in his bedroom. Patients usually only receive prescriptions of Diprivan® when hospitalized or when terminally ill. Police investigators and the coroner’s office speculated that Propofol contributed to Jackson's death, since he was having the drug administered to him on a sometimes daily or weekly basis to help him sleep.