(e TOM i date)
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.
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.
- General Anesthetic
Ultrashort-acting nonbarbiturate hypnotic (benzylimidazole) used for rapid induction of anesthesia with minimal cardiovascular effects; produces EEG burst suppression at high doses
Vd: 2 to 4.5 L/kg
Hepatic and plasma esterases
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
Terminal: 2.6-3.5 hours
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).
Sedation for diagnosis of seizure foci; procedural sedation
Hypersensitivity to etomidate or any component of the formulation
General anesthesia: IV: 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: IV: 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).
Cushing syndrome (off-label use): IV: Initial: 0.04 to 0.05 mg/kg/hour (usually equates to ~2.5 to 3 mg/hour). Titrate to serum cortisol of 18 to 29 mcg/dL (500 to 800 nmol/L) in a physiologically stressed patient or 5.5 to 11 mcg/dL (150 to 300 nmol/L) in a non-physiologically stressed patient. For complete blockade, titrate infusion rate to achieve a cortisol level <5.5 mcg/dL (<150 nmol/L). Hydrocortisone IV is required if complete blockade desired rather than partial blockade (‘block and replace’) (Preda 2012). Note: Studies have not reported sedation at these etomidate doses; however, patients should be managed in an intensive care unit with sedation scoring every 2 hours initially for the first 24 hours, then every 12 hours. Cortisol levels should be measured every 4 to 6 hours (ES [Nieman 2015]; Preda 2012).
Procedural sedation (off-label use): IV: 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)
Refer to adult dosing; reduced doses may be required.
General anesthesia: IV: Children >10 years and Adolescents: 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)
Dosing: 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.
Dosing: Hepatic Impairment
There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling.
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)
Y-site administration: Incompatible with ascorbic acid, vecuronium.
Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).
There are no known significant interactions.
Central nervous system: Myoclonus (33%)
Endocrine & metabolic: Adrenal suppression
Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting (on emergence from anesthesia)
Local: Pain at injection site (30% to 80%)
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Musculoskeletal disease (transient skeletal movements)
1% to 10%: Gastrointestinal: Hiccups
<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Apnea, bradycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, decreased cortisol (decreased cortisol synthesis), hypertension, hyperventilation, hypotension, hypoventilation, laryngospasm, tachycardia
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.
• Renal impairment: Risk of toxicity is greater in patients with renal impairment; use with caution and monitor renal function.
• Elderly: May induce cardiac depression in elderly patients, especially those with hypertension; may require lower doses.
• 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.
Cardiac monitoring; blood pressure; renal function (in renal impairment)
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Adverse events have been observed in animal reproduction studies.
• 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, vomiting, or twitching. Have patient report immediately to prescriber severe dizziness, passing out, difficulty breathing, slow breathing, shallow breathing, tachycardia, bradycardia, arrhythmia, rigidity, abnormal movements, severe 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.