Sedative and anesthetic safety is continuously reviewed as part of quality assessments. Yet, the market for sedation and anesthesia has been short on pharmaceutical development, and standard options for moderate sedation medications have not changed in three decades.

Typically, either propofol or a benzodiazepine (e.g., midazolam) with or without a narcotic (e.g., fentanyl) is used to obtain sedation for procedures. Both strategies have pros and cons. A disadvantage of propofol is the requirement of constant monitoring by an anesthesia provider due to its potential for respiratory- and cardio-depressive effects, which results in additional costs and higher risks, since there is no reversal agent available for propofol to be able to quickly stop sedation if required. For midazolam, although these side effects are less pronounced, there is a slower onset and a longer duration of action that can impact patient...

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