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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 5, Issue 6, Pages 209-213
Clinical Gastroenterology

Flumazenil, a Benzodiazepine Receptor Anatagonist, in the Reversal of Conscious Sedation following Gastroscopy. A Placebo Controlled, Dose Finding Study

Lloyd Sutherland,1 Noel Hershfield,1 Eldon Shaffer,1 Lorne Price,1 Deanne Dean,1 and Margaret Light1,2

1Division of Gastroenterology, Foothills Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2Hoffmann-La Roche Limited, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Received 13 June 1991; Accepted 21 November 1991

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tim double-blind, placebo controlled, study assessed the efficacy and safety of flumazenil, a benzodiazepine antagonist, in reversing diazepam-induced sedation in 60 patients undergoing endoscopy. Patients were randomly assigned to one of six treatment groups (placebo, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 μg/kg flumazenil). Patient psychomotor function was determined using four standard assessments – Trieger, digit substitution, track tracing and cancellation tests. Flumazenil was well tolerated by all patients. All doses of Flumazenil were superior to placebo in reversing sedation. No significant differences were detected between the various treatment groups. Forty-five minutes after the flumazenil infusion, there were no differences between flumazenil- and placebo-treated patients in psychomotor function. Flumazenil is a safe, effective medication which reverses diazepam-induced conscious sedation. For most patients 0.5 mg given intravenously will reverse sedation.