November 01, 2010
ASA Supports DEA Proposal to Schedule Propofol
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) supports The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) proposal to place the commonly used anesthetic drug propofol into schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). ASA hopes that the tighter controls and monitoring that accompany scheduling will reduce the potential for abuse, although ASA members recognize that such action will not completely prevent all problems associated with the misuse of propofol.
All patients and health care providers need to be aware of the powerful anesthetic effects of propofol, understand the risks, and recognize the potential for abuse. As with the administration of any powerful anesthetic agent, intense vigilance is required. ASA policy clearly states that propofol should be used only in a controlled and monitored medical setting, by health care professionals qualified to administer general anesthesia and rescue patients, should problems arise.
Patients who have questions about propofol or their anesthesia prior to any surgery or a procedure should request a preoperative discussion with an anesthesiologist, the physician most qualified to provide and supervise the administration of any anesthetic.
ASA will continue to work collaboratively with the DEA and other federal agencies, to ensure that any policies and regulations enacted achieve the highest level of safety for patients and providers alike.