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J R Soc Med. 1991 August; 84(8): 481–483.
PMCID: PMC1293378

Preanaesthetic medication: a survey of current usage.


A survey has been carried out amongst the UK based members of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland regarding their practice of premedication. Ninety-three per cent of respondents (reply rate 51.7%) used sedative-hypnotic premedication routinely in adults and 84% in children. However, anticholinergic premedication was used by only 36% in adults and 56% in children. Temazepam was the most frequently used sedative premedicant in adults and trimeprazine in children. Atropine and hyoscine were the most frequently used anticholinergic drugs. The main reasons for using sedative-hypnotic premedication were allaying anxiety and providing sedation. The main reasons for using anticholinergic drugs were drying of secretions and protection against vagal overactivity. This survey concludes that while sedative-hypnotic premedication continues to be used in the majority of patients with oral benzodiazepines the most frequently used drugs, the use of anti-cholinergic premedication continues to decline.

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Selected References

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