Etomidate dosage may be viewed as an alternative to propofol or barbiturates for the IV induction of anaesthesia, especially in the presence of an unstable cardiovascular system.
After a standard induction dose of 0.2 to 0.4 mg/kg IV, the onset of unconsciousness occurs within one arm-to-brain circulation time. Involuntary myoclonic movements are common during the induction period as a result of alteration in the balance of inhibitory and excitatory influence on the thalamocortical tract.
Awakening after a single IV etomidate dosage is more rapid than after barbiturates, and there is little or no evidence of a hangover or cumulative drug effect, Recovery of psychomotor function after administration of etomidate is intermediate between that of methohexital and thiopental.
Because of excellent cardiovascular stability, etomidate is considered to be a suitable induction agent for open-heart surgery.
Although it produces adrenocortical dysfunction, the serum cortisol levels remain within normal laboratory levels during this period and adrenocortical dysfunction appears to resolve within 12 hours of a single bolus dose of 0.3 mg/kg etomidate.
Etomidate dosage infusion was used successfully for maintenance of cardiovascular stability in patients undergoing resection of phaeochromocytomas. Carli et al. used etomidate dosage infusion in the place of nitrous oxide during one-lung anaesthesia for patients undergoing thoracic surgery satisfactorily.