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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 16

J Clin Med



Emerging Approaches in Intravenous Moderate and Deep Sedation.


Goudra B, Mason KP
J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 16; 10(8).
PMID: 33923775.


Successful pharmacological innovations that have made a difference in daily practice are rare in the world of anesthesia and sedation. After many years of research, it seems that we finally have two new drug innovations that are likely to change the paradigm of moderate and deep sedation. These are oliceridine and remimazolam. Both have been in development for over a decade. Oliceridine was synthesized in a lab as an entirely new molecule. It is a biased μ- receptor agonist that acts preferentially on the G-protein pathway (which is responsible for analgesia). At least in lower doses, it has minimal effect on the beta-arrestin pathway, which is responsible for unwanted effects of μ-opioid receptor activation such as respiratory depression and gastrointestinal dysfunction. Like any other μ- receptor agonist, it produces appropriate dose-dependent analgesia. Remimazolam is structurally similar to midazolam; however, it has an additional ester linkage that delivers the kinetics of remifentanil. As a result, while pharmacodynamically identical to midazolam, remimazolam is metabolized by ester hydrolysis and subsequently its elimination is rapid and predictable. The present review discusses the two drugs in detail with a particular emphasis on their potential role in moderate and deep sedation.