Researchers are developing new anesthetic agents with important advantages over current drugs, according to a July 31st article in Science Daily. These developments could ultimately lead to better, safer anesthetics that will improve patient care.
In a study published in the August 2012 issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia, the journal of the International Anesthetic Research Society (IARS), the authors assess two newly developed anesthesia agents. Combining previous knowledge with new techniques, researchers are attempting to quickly develop a “fast, clean, soft” drug—“clean” for its lack of unwanted side effects and “soft” for its predictable effect on the patient.
Massachusetts General Hospital has improved etomidate, which has long been used to induce anesthesia but had been known to interfere with patients’ immune systems and other important functions. By adjusting the drug’s structure, researchers were able to eliminate this harmful effect while maintaining its anesthetic potency.
Other researchers have developed remimazolam, a new benzodiazepine-type sedative drug, and used a computerized model and simulation techniques to explore its properties. Like etomidate, the new drug was developed quickly, and has predictable effects and a comparatively rapid recovery time.
The new reports offer a clear image of how the anesthesiology researchers are using advanced techniques to develop and introduce new anesthetic agents that will assist in making anesthesia more effective and safer for patients.