Skip to Content

Etomidate

Pronunciation

Pronunciation

(e TOM i date)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Solution, Intravenous:

Amidate: 2 mg/mL (10 mL, 20 mL) [contains propylene glycol]

Generic: 2 mg/mL (10 mL, 20 mL)

Solution, Intravenous [preservative free]:

Generic: 2 mg/mL (10 mL, 20 mL)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Amidate

Pharmacologic Category

  • General Anesthetic

Pharmacology

Ultrashort-acting nonbarbiturate hypnotic (benzylimidazole) used for rapid induction of anesthesia with minimal cardiovascular effects; produces EEG burst suppression at high doses

Distribution

Vd: 2 to 4.5 L/kg

Metabolism

Hepatic and plasma esterases

Excretion

Urine ~ 75% (80% as metabolite; 2% as unchanged drug)

Onset of Action

30 to 60 seconds; Peak effect: 1 minute

Time to Peak

Serum: 7 minutes

Duration of Action

Dose dependent: 2-3 minutes (0.15 mg/kg dose); 4-10 minutes (0.3 mg/kg dose); rapid recovery is due to rapid redistribution

Half-Life Elimination

Terminal: 2.6-3.5 hours

Protein Binding

76%; decreased protein binding resulting in an increased percentage of “free” etomidate in patients with renal failure or hepatic cirrhosis

Special Populations: Hepatic Function Impairment

Vd and elimination half-life increase 2-fold in patients with cirrhosis compared with healthy subjects.

Special Populations: Elderly

Vd, total clearance, and plasma protein binding are decreased in elderly patients.

Use: Labeled Indications

General anesthesia: Induction of general anesthesia; as a supplement to subpotent anesthetic agents during maintenance of anesthesia for short operative procedures (eg, dilation and curettage, cervical conization).

Use: Unlabeled

Sedation for diagnosis of seizure foci; procedural sedation

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to etomidate or any component of the formulation

Dosage

IV: Children >10 years, Adolescents, and Adults:

General anesthesia: Initial: 0.3 mg/kg (range: 0.2 to 0.6 mg/kg) over 30 to 60 seconds for induction of anesthesia; maintenance: 10 to 20 mcg/kg/minute (Barash 2009; Miller 2010)

Supplementation to subpotent anesthetic agents: In adults, may administer smaller increments during short operative procedures to supplement subpotent anesthetic agents, such as nitrous oxide; individualize dosage (usually smaller than the original induction dose).

Procedural sedation (off-label use): Initial: 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg, followed by 0.05 mg/kg every 3 to 5 minutes as needed (Bahn 2005; Miner 2007; Vinson 2002)

Elderly: Refer to adult dosing; reduced doses may be required.

Dosage adjustment in renal impairment: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling; use with caution, risk of toxicity is greater in patients with renal impairment.

Dosage adjustment in hepatic impairment: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Administration

Administer IV push over 30 to 60 seconds. Solution is highly irritating; avoid administration into small vessels; in some cases, preadministration of lidocaine may be considered. May also administer as a short term continuous infusion after an induction dose to maintain general anesthesia (Barash 2009; Miller 2010)

Compatibility

Y-site administration: Incompatible with ascorbic acid, vecuronium.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).

Drug Interactions

There are no known significant interactions.

Adverse Reactions

>10%:

Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting on emergence from anesthesia

Local: Pain at injection site (30% to 80%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Myoclonus (33%), transient skeletal movements, uncontrolled eye movements

1% to 10%: Hiccups

<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Apnea, arrhythmia, bradycardia, decreased cortisol synthesis, hypertension, hyperventilation, hypotension, hypoventilation, laryngospasm, tachycardia

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Adrenal steroid production: Etomidate inhibits 11-B-hydroxylase, an enzyme important in adrenal steroid production. A single induction dose blocks the normal stress-induced increase in adrenal cortisol production for 6 to 8 hours, up to 24 hours in elderly and debilitated patients. Continuous infusion of etomidate for sedation in the ICU may increase mortality because patients may not be able to respond to stress. Administration by continuous infusion is not recommended by the manufacturer. No increase in mortality has been identified with a single dose for induction of anesthesia (McPhee 2013). Consider exogenous corticosteroid replacement in patients undergoing severe stress.

Disease-related concerns:

• Renal impairment: Risk of toxicity is greater in patients with renal impairment; use with caution and monitor renal function.

Special populations:

• Elderly: May induce cardiac depression in elderly patients, especially those with hypertension; may require lower doses.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: When considering use, weigh etomidate hemodynamic properties against the high frequency of transient skeletal muscle movements.

• Experienced personnel: According to the manufacturer, etomidate should only be administered by experienced personnel trained in the administration of general anesthetics and in the management of complications encountered during the conduct of general anesthesia. Consult local regulations and individual institutional policies and procedures.

Monitoring Parameters

Cardiac monitoring; blood pressure; renal function (in renal impairment)

Pregnancy Risk Factor

C

Pregnancy Considerations

Adverse events have been observed in animal reproduction studies.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience fatigue, nausea, or fasciculations. Have patient report immediately to prescriber severe dizziness, syncope, dyspnea, tachycardia, bradycardia, arrhythmia, rigidity, difficulty with motor activity, significant headache, or injection site irritation (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.

Hide