The Pharmacology of Brietal Sodium (Methohexitone Sodium)

  • J. G. Whitwam
Part of the Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation / Anaesthesiologie und Wiederbelebung / Anesthésiologie et Réanimation book series (A+I, volume 57)


The drug in this discussion “Brietal Sodium” will be referred to by its B. P. name i. e. methohexitone sodium. This drug was introduced because of the need for an anaesthetic agent which had a shorter duration of action, less cumulative effect, fewer undesirable side effexts e.g. cardiovascular depression, respiratory depression, local irritation of the tissues, and which would also provide better reflex depression at a lighter level of narcosis than existing intravenous induction agents. Because so much of the literature about anaesthetic agents compares the effects of various drugs, it is inevitable that in describing the pharmacological properties of methohexitone some reference will be made to other drugs of similar purpose. For example thiopentone, described by Tabern and Volwiler in 1935, was first used in clinical anaesthesia thirty six years ago; the experience with this agent is so wide, and such is its reliability and consistency of effect, that it provides a standard against which newer drugs can be assessed.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. G. Whitwam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnaestheticsThe Royal Postgraduate Medical SchoolLondonEngland

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