Induction and maintenance of general anaesthesia. Sedation during intensive care. Sedation for surgical and diagnostic procedures.

Dosage & Administration

Induction of general anaesthesia:


The dosage of Propofol should be titrated individually against the response of the patient. The ordinary initial dosage in adults is 40 mg (4 ml) by slow intravenous bolus injection at intervals of 10 seconds until the clinical signs show the onset of anaesthesia. The ordinary induction dose in healthy patient below 55 years of age is 2.2-2.5 mg/kg. A dose of 1.0-1.5 mg/kg is often sufficient for older patient. Lower doses, most often 20 mg (2 ml) at intervals of 10 seconds, are recommended for patient of ASA grades 3 and 4.


Maintenance of general anaesthesia:

Anaesthesia can be maintained by administering Propofol either by continuous infusion or by repeat bolus injections to maintain sufficient anaesthesia. Continuous infusion: The required rate of infusion varies considerably between patients. At the onset of anaesthesia (during roughly the first 10-20 minutes), some patient may require a slightly higher infusion rate (8-10 mg/kg/h). However, sufficient anaesthesia is normally achieved by infusing 4-6 (up to 12) mg/kg/h of Propofol. Repeat bolus injections: 25-50 mg (2.5-5.0 ml) bolus injections, depending on response.


Sedation during intensive care:

A bolus injection of 1.0-2.0 mg/kg should be given first, followed by continuous infusion adjusted according to required degree of sedation. An infusion rate of 0.3-4 mg/kg/h is usually sufficient.


Sedation for surgical and diagnostic procedures:

Dosages shall be adjusted individually. Sufficient sedation for surgical and diagnostic procedures can usually be achieved by administering initially 0.5-1 mg/kg during 1-5 minutes, and maintained by continuous at a rate of 1-4.5 mg/kg/h. Bolus dose of 10-20 mg can be given in addition, should deeper sedation be suddenly required. Lower doses of Propofol are often sufficient for patient of ASA grades 3 and 4, and for older patient.




Propofol is not recommended for use in children less then 3 years of age as its safety has not been demonstrated.

Induction of general anaesthesia:


Dosage of Propofol in children shell be adjusted for weight and age. The mean induction dosage in children over 8 years is 2.5 mg/kg, given by slow intravenous injection until the clinical signs show the onset of anaesthesia. Younger children may need slightly higher doses of propofol per kilogram of weight. Lower dosages are recommended for children of ASA grades 3 and 4.


Maintenance of general anaesthesia:
Anaesthesia can be maintained by administering Propofol either by continuous infusion or by repeat bolus injections. Dosage shall be adjusted individually, but an infusion rate of 9-15 mg/kg/h is usually sufficient to achieve satisfactory anaesthesia.


Sedation during intensive care, surgical diagnostic procedures:

Propofol is not recommended for sedation in children as its efficacy and safety have not been demonstrated. Although no casual relationship has been established, serious adverse events (including fatalities) have been reported in cases, where propofol has been used against recommendations. Adverse events have most commonly been seen in children with respiratory tract infections given doses in excess of those recommended for adults.


Method of Administration
In order to reduce pain on injection, the induction dose of propofol may be mixed immediately before injection in the plastic syringe with lidocaine 10 mg/ml injection, in a ratio of 1 part of lidocaine injection for 20 parts of Propofol. Propofol can be administered either undiluted or diluted for infusion. Before injection or dilution, each ampoule or vial shall be inspected for any irregularity. Should any changes be observed, the product shall not be used. Suitable equipment shall be used to ensure correct rate of infusion. Volumetric infusion pumps and syringe pumps, for example, are suitable for this purpose. The ordinary infusion set used alone is not sufficient to prevent accidential overdosage reliably enough. Compatibility: Propofol may be diluted only with 5% dextrose infusion. Dilution shall not exceed 1 in 5 (containing 2 mg/ml Propofol) and shall be prepared in an infusion bag or glass infusion bottle. If an infusion bag is used, the bag should be full and the dilution be prepared by withdrawing a volume of infusion fluid and replacing it with an equal volume of Propofol. Special attention shall be paid to preparing the dilution aseptically, immediately before administration. Any diluted solution shall be used within 6 hours of preparation. Any remaining solution shall be discarded.


Propofol should only be given by specialists in anaesthesiology or under their supervision. The physician performing a surgical or diagnostic procedure should not administer propofol. Facilities for resuscitation in case of any complication should be available at the treatment unit. During the administration of Propofol, patients shall be monitored continuously to observe possible hypotension, obstruction in the respiratory tract, hypoventilation or insufficient oxygen intake at a sufficiently early stage. Special attention shall be paid to patients sedated by Propofol for a surgical or diagnostic procedure, who are not artificially ventilated. Caution shall be taken in administering Propofol to patients with cardiac, respiratory, renal or hepatic insufficiency. Hypovolemic patients and those with poor general condition form another risk group. Since propofol lacks vagolytic activity, bradycardia, even asystole, may occur. Intravenous administration of an anticholinergic agent before induction and during maintenance of anaesthesia should be considered, especially if propofol is used in conjunction with other agents likely to cause bradycardia and in situations where vagal tone is likely to predominate. Since Propofol is a lipid emulsion, appropriate care should be applied in patients with severe disorders of fat metabolism such as pathological hyperlipidemia. If Propofol is administered to a patient for whom excessive fat intake may be risky, blood lipid values shall be monitored and Propofol dosage decreased if necessary. If the patient is receiving other paranteral lipid emulsions in addition to Propofol , the amount of lipid in Propofol (0.1 g/ ml) shall be taken into account, when calculating the total intake of fat. In epileptic patients, propofol may lead to convulsions. The analgetic effect of propofol as such is insufficient. Analgetics shall be used to ensure sufficient analgesia. Full recovery from general anaesthesia shall be confirmed prior to discharge. It shall be noted that the aftermath of general anaesthesia may impair the patient's ability to understand instructions given postoperatively.



Special Precautions for Handling
Propofol and any equipment needed in its administration shall be treated strictly aseptically, since Propofol contains no antimicrobial preservatives and as a lipid emulsion it supports the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms. When Propofol is to be aspirated, it must be drawn aseptically into a sterile syringe immediately after opening the vial, and administered without delay. Any fluids to be given simultaneously with Propofol shall be administered as close to the cannula site as possible. Propofol must not be administered via a microbiological filter. Propofol and any equipment needed in its administration are for use in an individual patient, only. According to general recommendations related to the use of lipid emulsions, the infusion period of undiluted Propofol shall not exceed 12 hours at a time. Any unused Propofol and the infusion line shall be discarded at the end of infusion or not later then 12 hours from the start of infusion. Infusion may be repeated, if necessary.

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