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Bradycardia Reported After Clonidine Administration

JULY 9, 2002

Effects of Clonidine and Propofol-based Anesthesia
By Ed Lach, John Rachel and Ona Patrascyu

We used clonidine .1 mg P.O. with propofol 400 to 1600 mg IV drip plus ketamine 50 mg IV at the start of the case, for approximately 500 cases of liposuction lasting ½ hour to 1½ hours. We thought it was a useful adjunct, but had three cases of severe bradycardia during this time period.

When evaluating the etiology, we decided that because clonidine has been reported to cause bradycardia, we would abandon using clonidine. Since that time we have performed about 600 cases without clonidine, and have had no bradycardia problems.

These episodes were to 40 beats per minute and lasted 30 to 45 minutes, and the patients were quite symptomatic. We considered transporting each of them. They occurred about one-half hour postoperatively, roughly an hour and a half after clonidine was administered.

It is my opinion that the anesthetist, particularly the non-anesthesiologist, should try at all costs to minimize the number of drugs given to the patient in order to avoid drug interactions.

Robert Yoho, M.D.

Dr. Robert Yoho
Pasadena, California


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