What anesthetic was I given?
September 24, 2014 12:13 AM   Subscribe

A couple of years ago, I received general anesthesia for a quick surgical procedure. Before losing consciousness, I was aware of a feeling of liberation. What was the drug given to me?

Some additional details: I had a minor facial surgery to remove a cyst (cystic acne) a couple of years ago. It probably lasted only 10-20 minutes (if that much). Before the surgery, I was given general anesthesia. It lasted almost exactly the duration of the operation. I lost consciousness gradually and came to as they were wheeling me out. Before losing consciousness, the short-lived feeling of liberation, joy, happiness, ecstasy or whatever one calls it was really quite something. And just so we are all clear, I am NOT looking to get more of it.
posted by vivekspace to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't tell you for sure, but it is very common for patients undergoing general anesthesia to get a dose of midazolam (Versed), a benzodiazepine that is an amnestic and anxiolytic medication, right before the surgical procedure starts. People love it.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:17 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

when i went under for an appendectomy, it was demerol...which is described as 'vein gold' and 'god's own medicine' on erowid. maybe don't try smack.
posted by j_curiouser at 12:30 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fentanyl and midazolam seems to be a popular combination. I was given them for a colonoscopy and for two oral surgeries. I did not experience what I'd call euphoria or ecstasy, but it was really very pleasant.
posted by in278s at 1:44 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Agree, sounds a lot like pethidine or one of the other opioids.
posted by tinkletown at 1:44 AM on September 24, 2014

Response by poster: I think it must be fentanyl. That name is vaguely familiar. Thanks!
posted by vivekspace at 1:55 AM on September 24, 2014

Versed is also pretty wonderful. Used in Twilight sedation.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:12 AM on September 24, 2014

Agree that it was quite likely fentanyl and/or midazolam (Versed); demerol (meperidine, pethidine in some places) has fallen out of favor over the past few years as it is not as safe as the alternatives. You could also have been feeling the effects of propofol/diprivan just before the full dose hit you and knocked you out. Supposedly waking up after a propofol anesthetic can be quite pleasant as well.
posted by TedW at 5:19 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Your description closely matches my experience with fentanyl during a recent screening colonoscopy. My understanding is that it's also available in lollipop form, bizarrely enough, and I sadly note that it's the drug Jay Bennett of Wilco died from an overdose of.
posted by aught at 5:56 AM on September 24, 2014

Can you ask for your medical record and find out? My wife had to do something similar when she had an allergic reaction to the meds and wanted to be able to warn off the next doctor to not use it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:49 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Out of the likely contenders, I would bet on fentanyl. It's the #1 choice of anaesthesiologists who abuse the drugs to which they have access. That is at least partly because even among all of the available opioids, it is particularly awesome.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:36 AM on September 24, 2014

Propofol is a likely contender, and is what they gave me when they reduced the dislocation in my elbow.

The nurse "warned" me that I might be euphoric when I woke up, and I did feel pretty okay, especially compared to the excruciating pain I had been in for several hours waiting for the procedure.
posted by JMOZ at 11:57 AM on September 24, 2014

Response by poster: I had the procedure in Australia, and have since left the country. Else, I would have just looked up the record.

I didn't have any side effects and I wasn't euphoric when I woke up.
posted by vivekspace at 9:00 PM on September 24, 2014

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