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Anxiolysis in Adults

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 5, 2023.

Anxiolysis is also called minimal sedation, conscious sedation, or twilight sedation. Anxiolysis is anxiety relief that occurs after you have been given medicine. This medicine helps you stay calm and comfortable during certain tests or procedures. It may be used before tests, such as an MRI, or a procedure, such as setting a broken arm. You may get the medicine as a pill or through your IV. If you are having surgery, the medicine will be given along with local or regional anesthesia. You may be drowsy, but you will be able to respond.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You are wheezing or having trouble breathing.
  • You have a rash that spreads over your body.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have pain or swelling where you got the injection.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You have muscle spasms.
  • You are confused or sleepy for longer than 24 hours.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

After anxiolysis:

  • Ask someone to stay with you for 24 hours. You may have trouble keeping your balance or doing daily activities. The person should also watch for any side effects from the medicine and call for help if needed. Examples include trouble breathing, hives, or an itchy rash over your body.
  • Rest and go slowly for at least 12 hours. You may have slow reflexes or be clumsy. Do not shower or take a bath until you feel fully awake. This can help prevent you from slipping in the bathtub.
  • Do not drive or make decisions for 24 hours. You may have trouble with coordination, reflexes, or thinking clearly. Ask someone to drive you if you need to go somewhere. Do not make important decisions until you are thinking clearly.
  • Eat and drink as directed. Limit the amount of fluid you drink. You may vomit if you drink too much fluid. You may need to start with clear fluids, such as broth or apple juice. If you do not vomit within 30 minutes, you may start to eat solid foods.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.