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Excipients in Anesthesia Medications

Burbridge, Mark A. MD; Jaffe, Richard A. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000003302
Anesthetic Clinical Pharmacology
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Medications used in anesthesiology contain both pharmacologically active compounds and additional additives that are usually regarded as being pharmacologically inactive. These additives, called excipients, serve diverse functions. Despite being labeled inert, excipients are not necessarily benign substances. Anesthesiologists should have a clear understanding of their chemical properties and the potential for adverse reactions. This report catalogs the excipients found in drugs commonly used in anesthesiology, provides a brief description of their function, and documents examples from the literature regarding their adverse effects.

From the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Published ahead of print 8 January 2018.

Accepted for publication January 8, 2018.

Funding: Departmental/institutional.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s website.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Mark A. Burbridge, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Dr, Stanford, CA 94304. Address e-mail to markburb@stanford.edu.

Copyright © 2018 International Anesthesia Research Society
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