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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A cost comparison of methohexital and propofol for ambulatory anesthesia.

Methohexital is eliminated more rapidly than thiopental, and early recovery compares favorably with propofol. We designed this study to evaluate the recovery profile when methohexital was used as an alternative to propofol for the induction of anesthesia before either sevoflurane or desflurane in combination with nitrous oxide. One hundred twenty patients were assigned randomly to one of four anesthetic groups: (I) methohexital-desflurane, (II) methohexital-sevoflurane, (III) propofol-desflurane, or (IV) propofol-sevoflurane. Recovery times after the anesthetic drugs, as well as the perioperative side effect profiles, were similar in all four groups. A cost-minimization analysis revealed that methohexital was less costly for the induction of anesthesia. At the fresh gas flow rates used during this study, the costs of the volatile anesthetics for maintenance of anesthesia did not differ among the four groups. However, at low flow rates (< or = 1 L/min), the methohexital-desflurane group would have been the least expensive anesthetic technique. In conclusion, methohexital is a cost-effective alternative to propofol for the induction of anesthesia in the ambulatory setting. At low fresh gas flow rates, the methohexital-desflurane combination was the most cost-effective for the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Implications: Using methohexital as an alternative to propofol for the induction of anesthesia for ambulatory surgery seems to reduce drug costs. When fresh gas flow rates < or = 1 L/min are used, the combination of methohexital for the induction and desflurane for maintenance may be the most cost-effective general anesthetic technique for ambulatory surgery.[1]


  1. A cost comparison of methohexital and propofol for ambulatory anesthesia. Sun, R., Watcha, M.F., White, P.F., Skrivanek, G.D., Griffin, J.D., Stool, L., Murphy, M.T. Anesth. Analg. (1999) [Pubmed]
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