Drugs to be used as premedicants before general or local anesthesia is induced must be selected with due regard to the patient's physical and mental state, the major anesthetic to be used, and the technique of administration. They should be prescribed by the person assigned to administer the anesthetic. Their purpose is to relieve the patient's anxiety, to reduce the amount of troublesome mucous secretions, to intensify the desired effect or reduce the required amount of the major anesthetic, and to decrease the incidence of complications of anesthesia, such as cardiac arrest, laryngospasm, and bronchial spasm. It is doubtful whether any of the drugs recently introduced for these purposes are preferable to the customary combination of a narcotic and a belladonna alkaloid.
Adriani J. PREMEDICATION-AN OLD IDEA AND NEW DRUGS. JAMA. 1959;171(8):1086–1090. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010260042008
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