New drugs and technologies, intravenous anaesthesia is on the move (again).
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Although well established in clinical practice, both propofol and midazolam have limitations. New hypnotics with different and potentially superior pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are under development. These include the benzodiazepine receptor agonists CNS7056 and JM-1232 (-), the etomidate-based methoxycarbonyl-etomidate and carboetomidate, the propofol-related structures PF0713 and fospropofol, and THRX-918661/AZD3043. The basic pharmacology and the initial anaesthesia studies for each of these agents are reviewed. Several of the agents (CNS7056, THRX-918661/AZD3043, and fospropofol) have reached the stage of clinical trials. To be successful, novel compounds need to establish clear clinical advantages over existing agents and where possible the new agents are discussed in this context. Computer-controlled drug administration offers the ability to automatically implement infusion schemes too complex for manual use and the possibility of linking patient monitoring to administration to enhance patient safety.
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