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Esmolol and the adrenergic response to perioperative stimuli.

Esmolol, an ultra-short-acting, cardioselective, beta-receptor blocking agent, has been developed for use in clinical conditions requiring controlled beta-receptor blockade. Its esterase-induced rapid metabolic inactivation and resulting brief pharmacologic effect provides control over the magnitude and duration of beta-receptor blockade. In placebo-controlled clinical trials, the effects of infusion of esmolol on the sympathetically mediated hemodynamic responses to stressful events during the perioperative period were evaluated in patients scheduled for surgical procedures under general anesthesia. In patients undergoing either noncardiac or cardiac surgical procedures, esmolol was effective in attenuating tachycardia that is normally seen during induction of anesthesia, laryngoscopy and endotracheal intubation, or sternotomy and aortic dissection by reducing the hemodynamic stress on the heart with negligible adverse effects. This much-desired cardioprotective effect of esmolol will be of special value to patients with coronary artery disease and patients with an unstable cardiovascular status who are undergoing major surgical procedures with general anesthesia.[1]


  1. Esmolol and the adrenergic response to perioperative stimuli. Murthy, V.S., Hwang, T.F., Sandage, B.W., Laddu, A.R. Journal of clinical pharmacology. (1986) [Pubmed]
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