Study shows rising rate of propofol abuse by health care professionals
Abuse of the anesthesia drug propofol is a "rapidly progressive form of substance dependence" that is being more commonly seen among health care professionals, reports a study in the April Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
"Propofol addiction is a virulent and debilitating form of substance dependence" with a "rapid downhill course," write Drs Paul Earley and Torin Finver of Georgia Health Professionals Program, Inc, Atlanta. Their study identifies some emerging characteristics and consequences of propofol abuse among health care professionals.
Propofol Abuse: Rates and Risk Factors
Data from an addiction center specializing in substance abuse problems among health care professionals identified 22 patients treated for propofol abuse from 1990 to 2010. Propofol is a drug widely used to induce anesthesia for surgery and sedation for other procedures. It is commonly used because it has a rapid onset and quick recovery time, with fewer side effects than other anesthetics.
The number of health care professionals treated for propofol abuse increased steadily during the period studied, although increased recognition by addiction center staff may have played a role. The patients were thirteen physicians, eight nurses, and one dentist. Most of the physicians and all of the nurses were anesthesia providers, who had ready access to propofol.
Patients using propofol were more likely to be women, compared to health care professionals abusing alcohol or other drugs. Most propofol abusers had depression, along with a history of childhood sexual or physical abuse. In addition, most of the propofol-abusing health care professionals reported a family history of substance abuse, and a higher than expected number had family members with schizophrenia.
The patients generally started using propofol to get to sleep. However, they quickly developed characteristics of addiction, with propofol becoming a preferred drug of abuse. Most patients came for addiction treatment within a few months after starting to use propofol. Five patients came to treatment after a single propofol binge.
Side Effects of Propofol Abuse 'Begin Almost Immediately'
"When humans abuse propofol, unintended side effects begin almost immediately," Drs Earley and Finver write. About half of propofol abusers entered addiction treatment after dramatic events such as car crashes or other injuries. Some sustained facial injuries when they passed out immediately after injecting propofol.
Five patients were admitted into treatment when they were discovered unconscious. These characteristics reflect the "narrow window between desired effect and unconsciousness" and the rapid loss of control over propofol use, according to the authors.
"Propofol dependence is a rapidly progressive form of substance dependence seen in 1.6 percent of all health care addiction cases reporting to treatment," Drs Earley and Finver conclude. Within the limitations of the data, the study suggests that propofol abuse by health care professionals is increasing—particularly among physician and nurse anesthesia providers with ready access to anesthetics.
Some characteristics of the patients studied—including their history of depression and childhood trauma and patterns of physical injury—have important implications for identification and treatment of propofol abuse by health care professionals. Drs Earley and Finver add, "Outcome studies…are needed to help solve the difficult decisions of when and if a propofol-abusing health care professional should return to their high-risk work environment."
Provided by Wolters Kluwer Health
- Recovery from propofol anesthesia may be sped by use of common stimulant Apr 05, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Docs facing questions about 'Michael Jackson drug' Oct 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Metabolic patterns of propofol, sevoflurane differ in children Oct 26, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Anesthesia regimen linked to post-orthognathic op pain Jul 31, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- FDA wants drug companies to look at potential for abuse Jan 30, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
question on coriolis effect with drag force
2 hours ago I really need help with this question. A small floating object initially moves with velocity v on the surface of a liquid at latitude λ. The...
Question of reflection and transmission of TEM wave in normal incidenc
8 hours ago Suppose TEM wave in +z normal to a boundary on xy plane at z=0. We know *E* & *H* are tangential to the boundary. Let ##\vec E_i=\hat x E##, be the...
the rudyak-krasnolutski effective potencial
8 hours ago Hi ... anyone now how to calculate or the formula of the rudyak-krasnolutski EFFECTIVE potencial ? the effective potencial includes the angular...
Normal force for a lever model
10 hours ago My model is a lever on a table top. One arm is horizontal on the table, while the other arm is raised at an angle alpha. I'm assuming the weight of...
gravity is std. therefore can we rate a 'mass at height' by watts?
15 hours ago For example.... wind turbines are primarily listed by their wattage (1.5MW etc.) Presumably their output is varied according to rotational speed, so...
Calculating on-axis elements of a solenoid
May 22, 2013 I wanted to mention that this solenoid has many winds over many layers. The thickness of the windings is 2.4 inches coming off of the engineering...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
In order to avoid exposing vulnerable groups such as children and young adults to alcohol advertising, industry groups have developed their own self-regulation guidelines. However, these guidelines have been criticized for ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
In order to avoid harms associated with alcohol consumption, in 2009 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism issued guidelines that define low-risk drinking. These guidelines differ for men and women: no more ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Treatment for alcohol use disorders works best if the patient actively understands and incorporates the interventions provided in the clinic. Multiple factors can influence both the type and degree of neurocognitive abnormalities ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida have evaluated how Florida health care and social service agencies distribute "Libres para Siempre", a Spanish smoking relapse prevention booklet ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
A Brazilian investigative team, collaborating with a Simon Fraser University researcher, is citing an urgent need for targeted interventions among young crack users in cities throughout Brazil, identified as the world's biggest ...
Addiction May 14, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
High blood glucose is associated with poor outcomes in hospitalized patients, and use of intensive insulin therapy (IIT) to control hyperglycemia is a common practice in hospitals. But the recent evidence does not show a ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
7 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
12 hours ago | 4.4 / 5 (9) | 0 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |