What Is Midazolam Used For?
Midazolam is used for sedation, anxiety relief, and memory loss during surgeries, medical procedures, or dental procedures. By enhancing the calming effects of a chemical in the brain, the medication can relax the muscles, impair short-term memory, reduce anxiety, and cause sleepiness. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend "off-label" midazolam uses, such as treating agitation or status epilepticus (a type of seizure). The medication is approved for use in children.
What Is Midazolam Used For?Midazolam (Versed®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of medicines known as benzodiazepines. It is approved for use as a sedative, anxiety, or anesthesia medication used before or during surgeries, medical procedures, or dental procedures. It is also used to sedate people on respirators in intensive care units.
Midazolam can be used in the following ways:
- Injected intravenously (through an IV) or directly into a muscle before surgery to cause sedation, anxiety relief, and memory loss.
- Injected intravenously before or during medical or dental procedures to cause sedation, anxiety relief, and memory loss.
- Injected intravenously as part of general anesthesia to help start the anesthesia process (called "anesthesia induction").
- Injected intravenously in people who must be on a respirator in an intensive care unit (used as a sedative, since it is very uncomfortable to be fully "awake" while on a respirator).
- Taken by mouth (in the syrup form) in children before a surgery or procedure to cause sedation, anxiety relief, and memory loss.
One of the most useful properties of midazolam is its ability to cause memory loss (amnesia) for a few hours. This is very useful when a patient needs to be awake and responsive during a surgery or procedure that may be uncomfortable or stressful. This is often called "conscious sedation," as the patient is sedated but conscious. Typically, people do not remember anything about the procedure and think they were "out" the whole time. When used for conscious sedation, midazolam gives people the sensation of being under general anesthesia, without the risks of general anesthesia or the need for a hospital setting.