Drugs Home > Midazolam

Midazolam is a medication that can be used as a sedative before or during surgery or a medical procedure. The medication works by enhancing the calming effects of a certain brain chemical, causing sleepiness, reducing anxiety, and relaxing the muscles. Because it is very fast-acting, it is particularly useful for anesthesia because it can help start the anesthesia process by relieving anxiety and causing memory loss. Some potential side effects of the drug include nausea and breathing problems.

What Is Midazolam?

Midazolam (Versed®) is a prescription medication approved for use as a sedative, anxiety, or anesthesia medication; the drug is used before or during surgeries, medical procedures, or dental procedures. It is also used to sedate people on respirators in intensive care units.
(Click What Is Midazolam Used For? for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Possible Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with midazolam. However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of midazolam include, but are not limited to:
  • Breathing problems
  • Tenderness at the injection site or pain when midazolam is injected (for the injection form)
  • Nausea and vomiting (for the syrup form).
(Click Midazolam Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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