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What Is Midazolam Hydrochloride?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Midazolam hydrochloride is a benzodiazepine drug that may be used prior to a medical procedure. It induces sleepiness and often causes partial or complete memory loss, which may be helpful for some patients who do not wish to remember the medical procedure. Midazolam hydrochloride works by inhibiting the action of the central nervous system and is only intended to be used under a doctor's direct supervision, in a hospital setting.

Sometimes, this benzodiazepine is prescribed along with fentanyl, which is a narcotic pain reliever. This may be done to alleviate pain during surgeries in which the patient is not given general anesthesia. In certain emergency situations, a doctor may administer these two drugs when the patient is in danger of harming himself and cannot be calmed down, or when the patient is in severe pain from an extensive injury.

Midazolam hydrochloride is available as an orally ingested syrup, or the doctor may inject it or administer it via an intravenous infusion. Patients should avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit products while taking this drug, and they must also inform the doctor if they have an allergy to cherries. Following a dose of midazolam hydrochloride, patients should be aware that they may have decreased coordination for the next one to two days. It can also result in mental fogginess, drowsiness, and weakness for the same period of time.

After receiving a dose of this drug, patients must avoid consuming alcoholic beverages for the next 24 hours. They should also avoid certain other medications, including cold or allergy drugs, sleeping pills, and narcotics. Muscle relaxants, antihistamines, and drugs to treat seizure disorders should also be avoided.

Patients should alert the doctor about certain side effects, should they become severe. Pain or redness at the injection site has been reported, along with headache and vomiting. More serious side effects should be reported to the doctor immediately, such as dizziness, irregular heartbeats, and problems breathing. Hyperventilation, inability to speak, and tightness in the chest may rarely occur.

Other serious side effects can include shaking, noisy breathing, or blue lips, fingernails, and skin. Hallucinations, slurred speech, and loss of self-control are also rare side effects. Some patients have reported mood swings, vertigo, and trouble sleeping, as well as choking.

Before undergoing treatment with midazolam hydrochloride, it is essential that patients disclose their full medical history, including their medical conditions and any medications and supplements they take. Women who are pregnant should never use this drug, while those who are breastfeeding should discuss the potential risks with their doctors. Midazolam hydrochloride may be contraindicated for use by those with lung disease, an airway blockage, or apnea, as well as glaucoma and congestive heart failure. It may interact with a wide range of other drugs, including morphine, oxycodone, and zolpidem, as well as supplements like echinacea, gingko, and St. John's wort.

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