Midazolam, also known by the trade names Versed®, Hypnovel® and Dormicum®, is a benzodiazepine drug with an imidazole structure. Used commonly as an anxiolytic, amnestic, hypnotic and sedative, this medication provides an effect similar to diazepam, but with a quicker onset and shorter duration. It was first synthesized in 1976 by Fryer and Walser. more...
This medication is frequently used (often in combination with other agents) by anesthesiologists for sedating patients prior to surgery, as well as for other invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopy.
Unlike other benzodiazepines such as diazepam and lorazepam, midazolam is water soluble as the imidazole ring is open at low pH. When it is in a solution with a pH greater than 4, the imidazole ring closes and it becomes much more lipid soluble, facilitating its rapid uptake into nerve tissue. This partly accounts for its rapid onset of action and its high protein binding in the blood (up to 97%).
Midazolam is a Schedule IV drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. This drug is considered quite addictive , as expected given its potent anxiolytic properties and rapid onset of action. For these reasons, it is rarely prescribed outside hospital environments.
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