Thursday, January 3, 2008

Were you informed when you were given Versed?

I was quite well-informed in the two procedures I've had (a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy), but I know that some sites out there describe the experiences of folks who have been given Versed during a procedure without having been told first. So, if you've had a colonoscopy before, were you given Versed (or any amnesic anesthesia) and, if you were, were you informed about it and it's side-effects beforehand?

72 comments:

Mary said...

I've been told elsewhere that it's optional, which the doctor never told me. I know a fair bit about it, but I assume she planned to tell me the details -- side effects, risks, etc. -- before the prodedure, which is actually too late for my taste.

edbook said...

'don't remember... him telling me what he was using or any side effects of such...

Peace

Pat Kight said...

I was informed, in great detail, at the consultation weeks before my first colonoscopy. Which was nice, because it gave me time to come home and Google Versed and its potential side effects.

But: I *asked* for details. And then asked more questions until I felt I fully understood what would be happening.

Three years later, for my second c'scopy, I simply said "I like to be a fully-informed medical consumer" and the (different) doctor went at great length to explain things.

I don't understand people who don't ask their doctors questions until they're satisfied with the answers.

Anonymous said...

I used to work for a team of gastros....(and all though I was only office staff and not at all educated formally in regards to the medical side of the procedure.) For the most part when up at the front desk at time of scheduling we would inform the patient that the anesthetic was a conscious sedation and that generally patients would not recal the procedure. On occassion some patients claimed to remember. The purpose of the drug is to simply relax the individual the side effect is the forgetfulness. That was my understanding. I have not had the procedure and am not an expert. I couldn't even tell you what the sedation was called.

I do know that at our office it was gastro administered which means there was not an Anesthesiologist involved, which would cut cost for the patient. Upon request a patient could request to be completely knocked out or request to have no sedation.

We also let patience know that generally, it took about a day to wear off.

Allan said...

My gastro's staff (at Camino Medical Group in Mountain View) gave me a sheet of paper to read listing Versed's side effects. They also refused to perform the procedure unless they met the person who was going to drive me home and take care of me for up to 24 hours ... and that person was required to wait for me until the procedure was finished.

As for the versed itself ... I started counting backwards, and I don't think I got much past 8 or 7.

The next thing I knew, I woke up as the doctor told me everything was done, and looked fine.

They wheeled me into a recovery room for an hour or two, and brought my partner in to see me.

I don't recall any after effects, other than wanting to sleep for the rest of the day.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall what drug was being advertised, but I do remember seeing an ad in one of my father's anesthesiology trade magazines, where the surgical sedative drug's ability to cause amnesia was touted.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't told until I asked as the nurse started my i.v.....had no idea what versed does until after the procedure..it may have relaxed me somewhat but I had some degree of awareness for the whole procedure...especially when both that and the fentanyl 'wore off' and I because totally alert..the pain and pressure was terrible...thought my entire insides were gonna explode out..the dr asked me to hang on as he was almost done but I had a lot of pain for quite a few minutes before it was over...totally alert when wheeled into recovery..I remember alot and what I remember is as clear as a bell...had no desire to sleep when I arrived at home...only slept 5 hours that night..it's my internist's opinion that versed doesn't work for me-there are those of us that it doesn't...why the fentanyl wore off too soon I don't know....it's all been put in my 'file'...hoping they come with something better in the ten years I can go before the next one...got a clean bill of colon health tho...found nada..

sunah said...

Yes, I was informed about everything at the Palo Alto Surgecenter. The staff was great.

sunah said...

Yes, I was informed about everything at the Palo Alto Surgecenter. The staff was great.

Bruce said...

NO! I was not informed. All that was said was, "just a little something to help you relax". I was already calm and relaxed (and it says so in my chart) I was given 3 doses of Versed; after the second does it states I was tranquil and they gave me a third dose!! Don't remember anything from before the Versed until the next day.

Anonymous said...

Short answer, no I wasn't informed. I told them that i wanted to be awake and alert and they surreptitiously injected this drug Versed. I wasn't even given the "informed consent" as they probably were aware that I would not sign off on anything like conscious sedation. I didn't ask them if they intended to stealthily inject me with amnestic drugs even after I told them not to. Geez I didn't even know they had such drugs, but I think Versed was covered under the "don't give me anything that will incapacitate me, and no GA" type statements that I made in preop! So much for dialogue between health care providers and patients.

kiwi said...

I had surgery 3 weeks ago. I asked the doctor not to use any amnesia drugs because last time I had an reaction to it. He said talk with the anesthesiologist so I did. That day I don’t remember much. A week later I went to get the operative report, surgical report, and pathology report. On the surgical report it read they had used Versed. On the hospital web site it say’s I have a right to “refuse treatment” which I requested. Well my rights were violated. I was disrespected, and lied to. I now have to deal with the side effects up to two weeks thanks to them. So I called around for a lawyer, I found one that helped me. Here is what he told me. To tell the hospital that I have an “idiosyncratic reaction” in stead of an allergic reaction, they will listen to you more that way. Then next time for a procedure or surgery tell them to put a wrist labels that say NO VALIUM, OR VERSED. This should be placed on admission and insist on it or you will leave. If Versed was used with out your knowledge I would complain to quality improvement group, Board of Healing Arts, or state agency regulating hospitals and make your complain to them. You can complain to the Patient Relations or Consumer Service department of the hospital. I put my complaint in already. I feel doctors can do what ever they please. I don’t agree. I have a right to my health care and how I should be treated with respect. This has got to stop. Please complain it is the only way this will stop. kiwi

Anonymous said...

Versed is about the sorest subject that you can bring up to me. My life has been ruined thanks to this evil poison. I had an endoscopy to try to break up a gallstone back in 1991, which by the way was unsucessful and I ended up having major surgery anyway. The anesthesiologist tells me "Oh don't worry, I'm just giving you something to relax you, you won't remember a thing." Nothing could be further from the truth. I remember waking up 5 times during the procedure choking on the tube and trying to strangle the doctor. They just kept pumping more and more and more Versed into my IV tube. I had a paradoxical reaction to it and the end result was me losing years of precious memories forever (I don't remember my children growing up!!! People try to remind me of things that happened in the past and I have no recollection of them at all, how sad. I also ended up with PTSD, depression and severe anxiety attacks...even in my sleep.
This drug should never have been approved by the FDA, it's evil, leaves a great area for patient abuse and no law suits because the patient doesn't remember what happened to them.
When I had to go for a colonoscopy, and I tried to avoid that like the plague, but due to bleeding issues I couldn't. After endless searching, I found an excellent Dr. in St. Petersburg FL who actually gave his patients a "humane" prep, let them eat a small breakfast and lunch, and had a good tasting laxative and pills. I also got him to agree to no sedation. I was wide awake and watched everything on the monitor. The nurse tried her darndest to pump me full of that poison and I actually had to get a little rude with her when she told me "Oh honey, you're never going to be able to stand the pain, you NEED versed." I told her that I discussed in detail with the Dr. why I refuse to take this drug and the reaction that I had to it, and told her "No, ma'am, I DON'T need Versed, I'll be quiet and still through the whole thing....watch me." Except when the doctor told me to change positions....I never moved a muscle...the procedure was virtually painless.

Anonymous said...

"...you're not going to be able to stand the pain." This is one of the most alarming statements ever! Versed is NOT a pain killer! All it does is cause amnesia in 89.8% of patients! So you are still going to be in pain, they just hope that VERSED works on YOU, and gives you amnesia! VERSED is barbaric! Are you willing to take the chance that you will be among the 10.2% of patients that won't have amnesia? Want to be unable to stop the procedure and be tied down or sat on so that they can get the money? Here's a medical line for you... "There's a thousand dollar bill up every Americans' a**, and it's up to you to go get it." Sound good? Go get that colonoscopy or endoscopy with VERSED and pray to God it works on you. Don't ask if you find bruises and muscle soreness afterwards because they will lie to you. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I was never told about Versed in advance. I had told my doctor I wanted to be awake and alert for my routine colonoscopy. I remember nothing of the procedure,and am angry and depressed. I will find it hard to trust health care professionals again.

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm with you guys. I have to get a colonoscopy and endoscopy next month (I just had a sigmoidoscopy -- no drugs -- and further testing is needed). I DO NOT want versed, I DO NOT want amnesia, and I already told the doctor that. I don't mind being asleep and anxiety free, though. She said they could do fentanyl (pain killer) and benedryl, which should be fine. I was wondering if anyone else has done a colonoscopy/endoscopy with benedryl or with pain killer only...beth

Anonymous said...

I was referred by a doctor that I trusted. She told me that I would be put to sleep and not to worry. I had never had any kind of surgery or been put to sleep for anything. I arrived for the colonoscopy about 12:30 pm. The doctor said I would be getting a sleepy time drug. That is the last thing I remember. I know I did not ask and I will agree that it is my fault but I also think I was lied to by both doctors. It has ruined my peace of mind as far as doctors and medical procedures are concerned I doubt I ever see another docrtor until I am intoo much pain to keep from it.Thanks you, doctors

Anonymous said...

I was referred by a doctor that I trusted. She told me that I would be put to sleep and not to worry. I had never had any kind of surgery or been put to sleep for anything. I arrived for the colonoscopy about 12:30 pm. The doctor said I would be getting a sleepy time drug. That is the last thing I remember. I know I did not ask and I will agree that it is my fault but I also think I was lied to by both doctors. It has ruined my peace of mind as far as doctors and medical procedures are concerned I doubt I ever see another docrtor until I am intoo much pain to keep from it.Thanks you, doctors

Anonymous said...

Versed is a dirty little secret in the medical profession and if you don't mention it, no one mentions it. I've had over 20 surgeries in my life and versed has wiped out alot of my memory because of that!
It's sad! And they don't want to admit that it does that either. They all have common terms like "we'll give you something to relax you" without going into specifics, i.e., side effects, risks, etc.

Anonymous said...

I have horrible family history of colon cancer and now have the symptoms.....i wold bener agree to get versed and I can't find anyne who will do the exam without this horible amnesia drug-just so they can do it quickly, roughly and get the patient out the door quickly.....quess I;ll take my chance with acncr..but a nurse said shcedule it , show up without a ride, lie about having a previous colonoscopy without drugs adn they will do it rather than lose the precious timeslot...

Anonymous said...

Versed is a patient control drug, pure and simple. Especially for colonoscopy, they want an amnesiac, imobile patient....trougle is, the patient starts to recall just how roughly they were treated after they get home and the docs blame it all on the versed "amnesia". Write on the anesthesia consent''I AM NOT CONSENTING TO VERSED FOR THIS PROCEDURE" do iT CALLY AT THE LAST MINUTE SO THAT THEY CAN'T CANCEL THE PROCEDURE..IT'S AN AWFUL DRUG AND THE NIGHTMARES/MEMORY LOSS ARE TERRIBLE..............MOST DOCS AND NURSES NEVER EXPLAIN THE SIDE-EFFECTS TO PATIENTS.........I GET THEN YEARLY WITH PAINKILLER ONLY AND THEY ARE FINE..........IF FORCES THE DOC TO GO SLOW AND IT'S A MUCH SAFER EXAM...AND MY BRAIN ISN'T FRIED..........

Anonymous said...

oh, my records indicale allergy to all benzodiazepines (especially versed)...........and for a procedure like colonoscopy, make sure that you write on the consent "no versed/no benzodizepine drugs-I write no sedation-only narcotics" at the very last minute...tell them this when you schedule and they will cancel. do it when you are prepped and in the hospital-they will respect your wishes..it's all about money

Anonymous said...

I had a endoscopy and was given this little sleepy time drug VERSED! Which I regret every time I think of going to a hospital, I get panic attacks. Anyway they never told me about versed or anything really. I remember waking up during the procedure and trying to pull the tube out of my throat and trying to hit the nurse cause she was holding me down which they say never happened. After the procedure I couldn't be alone for a couple of days, I was scared and confused and some other things. I didn't feel normal for about a month. If you are going to have a procedure, do yourself a favor and say...wait make them sign something that says they will not give you Versed. It's horrible!

Anonymous said...

I was given Versed for a coloscopy procedure. I knew I would be sedated for the procedure. I had asked for light sedation before the procedure began, however I found out that I was given the "standard dose". THE GI DOCTOR DID NOT DISCUSS OR LIST THE MEDICATIONS USED FOR SEDATION. FOUR DAYS AFTERWARDS, I AM STILL DEALING WITH SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS AND DECLINED FINE MOTOR SKILLS.

jackie said...

Sedation doesn't mean what you and I think it means. The dictionary has a very different meaning for "sedate" also. Be very careful about medical terminology. Awake and alert doesn't mean what you think it means either. Sedation means amnesia, "cooperation" means abject obedience to their every command and awake and alert means that you "look like" you are awake and alert but in reality the lights are on and nobody is home. There is no "small amount" of Versed. As little as 1 ml of this poison will shut down your brain but leave your body acting like you are alive. This is called being a zombie in science fiction. Now they have a drug that will turn you into a zombie. This is not funny and these people will not tell you the truth. Conscious sedation indeed.

Anonymous said...

As an advance-practice nurse, I can tell you that Versed is a terrible drug with long-lasting, haunting amnesia...and this often happens after the procedure and you have no ercourse except to suffer. It's best listed as an allergy..tell them that you had a "paradoxical reaction" to it and can't take it.

Anonymous said...

I've now had 5 colonoscopies, including one that was done with no medications at all.

Other than the non-medicated one (which was quite possibly the most painful experience ever, giving birth was nothing in comparison), I have had no issues from whatever medications I was given.

I have woken up during the medicated procedures, still sleepy and tired but completely coherent, in zero pain and just watched the Dr. finish up on the monitor.

I don't know what the Dr's gave me, I'm sure it was written on the various reams of paper I was sent home with. I would NEVER consider a non-medicated one again

Anonymous said...

They need to tell you that the "sedation" with versed isn't to rlax you at all, it's to make you forget. and you just might forget a lot of other things too, have a lifetime of nightmares too, Versed will force you to lie there imobile, aware of any pain (it has no pain-relieving properties), you will want to scream or beg them to stop or to give you some painkiller (they typically use very little)..this drug is bad news; write on the consent "no versed"...you can get painkiller (fentanyl) only if you insist..they hate you to have this option; then you won't forget the procedure and they can't treat you as roughly. I have watched many colonoscopies with my students; colonoscopy with versed is barbaric...women in particular moan, cry, scream and they just keep treating them roughly because they hope "they probably won't remember this"...we treat the rats in the lab better than that..at least if we have to hurt them for research, we give tem adequate pain contol. watcha colonoscopy done with versed; you won't ever consent to versed. and they usually tell the patient: "versed is just to make you comfy"...what a line of BS; your doctor would nver consent to vesed for himself...

Anonymous said...

If you want a good colonoscopy, find a doc who does a lot of them and takes his/her time. If they go slowly, drugs aren't needed. Only sloppy docs who rush the exam rely on Versed or propofol to make sure that the patient forgets the experience. A rushed exam is worse than worthless. Long-term memory loss from versed or respirtory arrest from propofol can ruin your life. Versed is not necessary and propofol is way overkill. If you insist on drugs, get fentanyl only. The doc will try to "force" you to consent to sedation. Just tell them calmly the night before when they call you that you possibly don't want sedation and that you will bring a driver. Then show up alone and write "no sedation" on the consent....They WILL do the test rather than lose the money. You get a superior screening and keep your brain from being fried. I have had 4 with no drugs. about 3 minutes of gassy discomfort until they reach the cecum, then a slow withdrawl which is painless. Then remember what the doc tells you instead of being zombified with versed......

Barbara said...

I had a colonsocpy and the procedure was fine. I was given versed and dermerol. I do not remember anything that went on during the procedure. That's fine with me. BUT, it has been 6 days since the procedure and I am having terrible bouts of dizziness. When I am lying down and turn I get dizzy. When I try to get up from a laying or sitting position I get dizzy. While sitting still I sometimes feel motion/dizziness. I feel like I am getting off the tea cup ride at Disneyland! The dizziness seems to be getting worse. Yesterday I fell over getting out of bed because I was so dizzy. It's now the weekend, so I will call my doctor Monday. I have never had this problem before and have not seen much mention of it from people discussing side effects.

Lynn said...

I have not had my first colonoscopy yet, but had heard about Versed over the years and was always disturbed that they would want to give you a drug to make you "forget" a procedure, one that you'll have to repeat in 10 years. All of your comments and experiences have been very helpful.

Barbara - did you find out what was causing your dizziness? I have a tendency towards vertigo, and if a side effect, it could be just one more reason to avoid Versed.

Storm in Rosewood said...

Painful Colonoscopy with Versed

I had a colonoscopy six days ago and was given Demerol and Versed and not told about this until I was in the procedure room. I had assumed that I would be put out completely, not given "conscious sedation". It was the most HORRIBLE experience of my life. I was awake and aware of excruciating pain and when I begged for more meds, the Dr informed me that my blood pressure was already too low, I would just have to deal with it. I remember crying and moaning with pain and watching the numbers on the monitor next to me. I was awake as soon as they finished, when the staff left the room I got up and dressed and resumed reading a magazine until the nurse came to escort me out. I felt fine physically, told my husband that the pain had been like "Dick Cheney torturing me with a bicycle pump" and I insisted we stop for coffee and walked two blocks to a coffee shop and stood in line for a latte and felt fine. I had no desire to sleep once we got home, in fact, I walked to the bank to take care of some business. The really bad flashbacks of painful memories started later in the day.
I am disappointed that both my own Dr and the Dr who did the procedure did not tell me about the side effects of Versed before hand, in fact, they have gone into "Defenseive Mode", insisting that they followed their usually procedures and that ALL of their other patients are fine with it. I have instructed my Dr to put on my records that I never want to have Versed again. Now I am waiting for them to call me about an appointment to arrange counseling to try and get these bad thoughts out of my head.
Oh, my test came out fine. The Drs told me that I could get a "virtual colonoscopy" next time as I will NEVER, EVER, go through that again.

Jadxia said...

I just had a colonoscopy and upper GI with fentanyl and Versed. Wrote about the whole thing (including the parts I remember, which is quite a bit) on my blog http://jadxia.livejournal.com

Despite the fact I remember much of it, I don't think I would have wanted the procedure to be done without Fentanyl. I think I could take or leave the Versed.

Anonymous said...

Versed is not a casual drug but a very potent benzodiazepine with possible short term dangers of respiratory depression as well as longterm effects. Patients can request pain medication and a benzodiazepine, valium if they desire to avoid versed during a procedure.
The NY Times wrote on July 4th, 1991 in the NY edition about Versed and its manufacturer, Roche, should be able to be read by searching NY Times archive.

Anonymous said...

I just had my first colonscopy today and was so scared of versed being used because of the comments I read here. I talked to my doctor at length about it ahead of time and decided to proceed with versed/fentenyl combo he has used 30 years. It was PERFECT for me. I didn't remember anything at all about the procedure. Last thing I remember is the nurse saying to take some deep breaths so the meds could work. Next thing I was back in the recovery room and the nurse brought me hot broth and a blueberry muffin. No pain, or if there was I don't remember it which is just what I wanted. I put myself through so much anxiety and stress the 3 weeks leading up to my procedure, I just hope someone reads this and I can spare them the anquish I put myself through for nothing. By the way, I had no polups and will not hesitate to do the exact same thing my next screening colonoscopy.

Tara said...

I was absolutely informed about my meds before colonoscopies (2 over the decade) and an upper endoscopy (this am). Any good facility would give you that info in writing about what you're getting! I'm on Kaiser, and have also been with other plans where I got the info.

In all 3 cases, the versed was very successful in erasing my memory of both colonoscopies entirely, and in really blurring me out during today's upper GI procedure. And the phentenol they give with it for pain control worked perfectly.

Tara said...

And it only takes a couple of hours for versed to wear off, tho they do suggest you don't drive for the rest of the day, which is super-cautious advice. Heck; the last time, I felt great after a couple of hours, drove to the barn and rode my horse. But taking it easy is always a good idea, sleeping it off for a few hours. I wouldn't do anything like sign a will or decide to get married or take out a mortgage on a versed-day, tho.

Diana Wilde said...

I recently had a cataract operation at the Jules Stein hospital eye institute, which is associated with UCLA hospital in Westwood wood California. Although the operation was a success, the use of Versed during the operation was a disaster for me. For five weeks after I had great trouble with memory loss. Not being able. That said..sble to remember such simple things as my address, telephone No. Or where I was going when I would leave the house on an errand. I sometimes had trouble remembering simple words and would not be able to express myself properly. It has now been 2 months since the operation, and there are times that I still don’t feel up to par. That said I was never informed about side effect, plus the fact that the clinic charged an additional 100 dollars for an examination after
I had already had a complete workup on week before. Versed is a terrible drug.

anastakid said...

Wow am I sick and tired of people. You decide you need help, you consent to treatment and demand drugs to help you then question the manner in which we provide you help. Patients are given Versed BECAUSE IT'S THE SAFEST INDUCTION AGENT for them. If you were given Dip instead you would need to be intubated and on a vent, but I suppose you would complain about a sore throat or raspy voice then. the truth of the matter is all patients need something to complain about. Even with a 5 star rating on a survey there's always the line "the only thing that I didn't like was...". Get over yourself and realize that you didn't want the anxiety, you didn't want to remember the procedure, and you didn't want to be aware under anasthesia. Why don't you look up anasthesia awareness in between your complaint sessions and understand that with the right drug (Versed) you'll never be aware or at least not remember it. You want to talk dangerous drugs? APAP is absolutely terrible and according to a FDA report looking at the years 1990 to 2001: 26,000 people are hospitalized and 458 die each year from acetaminophen overdoses. It is the number one cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Now chew on that and GFY.

Art said...

My doctor informed me that he would give me a sedative but I had to ask to find out that it was to be Versed and Fentanyl. The Versed worked great for my colonoscopy, without side effects.
The doc excised 3 polyps.
The prep work was to mix 238 grams of Miralax into 64 oz.of Gatorade and to begin drinking it at 5 pm the night before. I didn't defecate until 11:30 pm. Then I defecated every 1.5 hrs. Stool was still coming out at 4:30 am, but not at 6am. I think I was able to rescue the colonscopy from fecal occlusion because I started drinking a glass of water every hour from 1am to 5am, after the Gatorade ran out.

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with these two drugs. I was wide awake, looking at the monitor and talking away. While there was no pain at all it was freaky for sure. I thought I was the only one that had this resistance so it's good to hear I wasnt.

Sacred Goddess said...

I have been all over the internet since my colonoscopy yesterday. It was a nightmare. I became aware during the procedure and the nurses kept shushing me too.

I have reread this same experience over and over since it occurred to me. I think I may have to file a complaint because this form of conscious sedation is barbaric.

I have to say before others do, I am happy my results came back good, but my problem is still not addressed. So that part of the body is fine. Now my mind, not so much so. I am highly disturbed that they do not fully tell you what the affect is from conscious sedation, and it is not a guarantee.

To make matters worse, I work for a GI too, and I have to tell people it will be fine...

Anonymous said...

I've had three procedures with versed and all three I was completely aware and awake. Colonoscopy, TEE, and wisdom tooth extraction. Fortunately none were painful.. colonoscopy was pressure, TEE didnt hurt a but, and they used injections for the wisdom teeth. Just let people know you do not metabolize the drug properly and ask for alternatives

Anonymous said...

As a practicing Anesthesiologist, I am going to call malarkey on some of this. Losing YEARS of memories due to Versed? Is that what the lawyers have told you to claim to sue us? There is NO scientific evidence of such a side effect. It doesn't even act on the part of the brain that stores long term memory. If you are losing long term memory, its time to get checked for an illness or disease.

I have had Versed myself probably 30 times in my life for various procedures. NEVER had a problem. I give it ALL THE TIME to men, women, and children of all ages and it is a widely accepted drug when used properly. No, none of you are having long term memory issues due to Versed. That is garbage. Some of you probably have mental issues and the others are just looking for a get rich quick lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

My traumatic experience with Versed is definitely not "malarky," nor am I looking to "get rich quick" by suing anybody. All I know is that I have never been the same since my nightmare colonoscopy with that drug over two years ago, and have been told by more than one doctor that it sounds like I have PTSD. I do agree with the anesthesiologist that maybe it wasn't "used properly" ; but what bothers me more than anything else is your attitude & other medical providers who REFUSE to believe that your precious Versed could harm anyone. IT HAS RUINED MY LIFE, and because of your lack of understanding & compassion, I know now I can never trust another doctor again.

Anonymous said...

By the way, it is only "widely accepted" by the medical profession. There are hundreds of people who have posted bad Versed experiences all over the internet, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. I believe with all my heart that someday this drug will be banned by the FDA, and not soon enough. It is patient abuse, and used without true informed consent routinely. Maybe Anesthesiologist can tell me why so many in his profession deliberately deceive patients about it's effects ? Any maybe the real reason an amnestic is given is not for the patient's benefit, but to prevent lawsuits against the doctor (his main concern).

Anonymous said...

For the "alleged" anesthesiologist who claims that there is no long term memory loss ascribable to Versed, it seems that Versed has affected your brain... We are not talking about LONG term memory like you are, we are talking about short term memory NOT BEING SENT TO THE LONG TERM AREA OF THE BRAIN! Just like Altzheimers. What happened prior to Versed is clear, but events transpiring subsequent are blurred and not retrievable because they are not encoded properly. The reason there are no "scientific" studies REPORTED is because you people are so enamored of this drug that you will not see it, read it, study it or admit that there is something wrong with this drug. So who has the mental problem? Denial of this problem and the slanderous statements about people who have an adverse reaction to being poisoned isn't normal.

Anonymous said...

Check out this blog and askapatiet.com about versed horror stories. Why would all of these people lie about having a horrible experience with this drug? Answer: they are NOT lying. We have 5 internists in my practice and we have referred thousands of patients for colonoscopy. Unlike the GI lab, we see these patients weeks and months or years after getting midazolam. Most do fine, but a LOT have memory loss, mental clouding and other problems for months after getting midazolam. We now recommend that our patients get propofol or fentanyl only; we do not recommend midazolam. I just had my own first colonoscopy (way overdue) and told the GI lab "no Versed" and they tried to get me to sign a sedation consent anyway, which I declined to do. initially, the GI doc told me an unsedated exam would be painful (I told her to go slowly and it wouldn't be), then she told me that without sedation she might not get to the cecum and finish the exam (I told her that she had better try because if she didn't she would get paid for a flex not a colonoscopy); she then asked if I was a physician and when I replied yes, she said not to worry, the unsedated exam was really a breeze.

Larry said...

It's sad to read about the bad experiences. They make me want to stay away from sedatives whenever possible or else keep the doses very small.

Over several decades, I have had five or six colonoscopies and one endoscopy. Before the past few, at least, literature and a form I was given informed me of the short-term effects of the sedative and the fact that there were numerous (but not exhaustively enumerated) "risks". During an office appointment weeks before each procedure, when the nurse prepared me on the day of, and when the physician entered the room, I was always asked whether I had any questions, and always received satisfactory answers.

Luckily, I've had only good experiences. Afterward, I usually remember most of the procedure. Either my Versed and Fentanyl doses were extremely small or I am not that sensitive to them.

My G.I. is experienced, skilled and considerate. He works quickly whenever possible, for both his benefit and mine, but slowly whenever necessary for thoroughness, comfort or safety. During the procedure, he warns me about pain or pressure I might feel and explains the reason he has to do whatever is about to cause it. Afterward, he explains it again and, if there was discomfort (which has been the exception), he apologizes.

I do have one bad story, but it was not during a G.I. exam. During an angiogram, I was given a sedative and warned that it would cause amnesia. I was asked to report any symptoms experienced during the procedure. I started reporting minor symptoms repetitively, making it hard for the cardiologists to concentrate. They couldn't persuade me to stop, so they increased the sedative dose. That only made me talk more. When the procedure was over, the amnesia caused me to forgot a pre-op instruction to keep my leg in a certain position. As a result, I developed an unsightly (but temporary) hematoma. Next time, I'll shut up and pay attention to the leg.

Anonymous said...

I was scheduled for a colonoscopy and endoscopy and was given Versed with Fentanyl. I, too, had a paradoxical reaction to Versed, which, after the 3rd dose (I was told), made me angry and agitated near the end of the colonoscopy. I do remember the doc trying to start the endoscopy but I kept choking, so he had to stop. I don't know if I have amnesia -- because I don't remember. But, now I know.

Anonymous said...

I havent seen this side effect, but I woke up in recovery after a colonoscopy with a prolonged erection. My GE said she thought it was definitely from the Versed.

Rose said...

yeah I did mine and I was scared. It was easy and I didn't feel a thing and the trylite I drank without any flavor. It tasted better that way. Especially after fasting and having nothing much in my stomach. I did a two day fast and had to drink the magnesium citrate the day before and it was so sweet that the trilyte actually tasted decent. Tasted like water with a little baking soda in it for flavor. Try it without flavor first. I covered the glass with saranwrap and used a straw and didn't smell anything and sucked it right down. All and all the whole experience was great considering i thought it was going to be much worse. Now I have 10 years they said before I go back!! Even though at my age I know I don't want to wait that long!

Good luck to anyone that has to do this procedure and I know it doesn't mean much but you won't remember anything once they give you the medication and start!! I was asking when are they gonna start and they were done!! Never felt a thing!! Thank you lord! Thanks to everyone for all their comments....... Good luck to those who haven't done one yet. You can do it!

Anonymous said...

I was given versed/fentanyl combo for my colonoscopy and did fine. That was in 2006. I was informed, aware and had to sign a form per-surgery. I already knew about the side effects. I didn't feel or remember a thing. El Camino Hospital, Mt View, CA.

But in 2007, about 6 months after the first dose, I needed surgery for my hand. Different hospital, longer procedure, different MD. The same versed/fentanyl combo was used. Except this time, I woke up mid-surgery. Wide awake. I even said "Hellooo---I am awake..." The Anesthesiologist knocked me out faster than you can say "wham"

So, my question is about the lasting side effects of this cocktail...does it affect you months or years later? My Operation Report does not document my waking up or their giving me additional medication to put me back to sleep.

Anonymous said...

I had a colonoscopy without being medicated in anyway...I can't say the same for the doctor.

I can tell you, it's nothing worth being present for!

The main source of the pain actually just comes from the fact that your colon has an issue with things in it, particularly the gas they use to open up the passage way, and will respond by cramping, which can be very painful.

I just came out of a procedure where they used versed and I didn't know I had any type of amnesia. It was very strange because I had no memory of the sense of any lapse of consciousness either, and didn't feel spacey or impaired in any way.
And that's the weird thing about it.

As I was sitting in the recovery room after declining to watch TV, I glanced at the clock and marveled at how it really didn't seem like I had been sitting there for five hours. I have a bit of an obsession with how far back I my mind generally does a compulsive memory check of the day at hand, but when attempting to do this, it occurred to me that I didn't really remember
the processes of leaving the procedure room and going into the recovery room. I didn't suddenly appear in the recovery room. I never had a "there one second and here the next" moment. I knew the procedure had ended and I was wheeled in but I just didn't remember the details of it.

I tried to reason with myself that I just didn't really remember the details because I wasn't paying attention. But then I though, that really isn't like me to not pay attention to these situations, as I'm horribly curious when it comes to medical procedures.

I also thought it strange that the doctor hasn't had a de-briefing of any sort with me. I remember the procedure finishing but I didn't remember any conversations and I started to think it odd that I didn't initiate one.

The thing is, because I felt completely normal and hadn't recalled being given anything at the time, I didn't dwell much on these anomalies.

In fact, I don't really even recall how the subject came up, but at one point after we got home, my mother said to me that the doctor came in to de-brief my family and said I had told him the same thing about 10 times during the procedure! :0

It was only then I realized I must have been given something and started wracking my brain trying to recover what were almost dead memories.

It was at that point that I recalled I was given something to "help me relax". And actually I was, I was given both a pain killing narcotic and versed.

I remember this clearly now.
I also started to remember three of the times I said that thing the doctor said I had said 10 times.
I was also able to recover part of the memory of being lifted off the table onto the gourney, and part of being wheeled to the recovery room and propped up.

In the recovery room, my mother came in and we talked. She came in and out a few times and we had coherent conversations and there was nothing that seemed out of the usual. But I don't recall what those first few conversations were about.

My memory of the procedure is generally quite and uneventful.

Strange strange stuff.

Anonymous said...

I went on a site where side effects of Versed are listed, yet few have mentioned so far what I experienced. My situation was unusual in two aspects. One, I am a Hypnotherapist who uses hypnosis for pain control during procedures and surgery recovery. My GI doc is great and agreed to use less air during the procedure and go more slowly. I spoke with the anesthesiologist beforehand and explained that I needed to be awake and clear headed for work that day and was with my GI doc's permission, going to be listening to my ipod with my prepared hypnosis that would keep me deeply relaxed and comfortable. He agreed not to give me any meds UNLESS I requested it during the procedure. He said I had to sign the permission to use drugs just in case I did ask for them.

Just as I was asked to turn over and before I Could start my mp3, that anesthesiologist pumped Versed into me without telling my GI doc. I woke up before the conclusion of the procedure with no pain meds and without my ability to do hypnosis since I was so disoriented.
No one told me that I had had Versed, until I figured it out 3 days later when my behavior was like a maniac, hostile, raging, crying off an on and continued like that for over a week. Normally, I have am the most relaxed, kind, gentle person you could imagine. When I asked the facility if I had been given a drug during the procedure, they fessed up to it. When I spoke to the anesthesiologist and asked him why, without my permission, he did such a thing. He responded that he thought I was nervous! This was before I even started the hypnosis. When I told him he was immoral and unethical to do such a thing, breaking my trust with him as my doctor, he hung up the phone on me. I learned from other doctor friends that these kind of doctors will drug you to keep you from making trouble or making their job more inconvenient. The saddest part is that these doctors are causing harm and their actions result in keeping traumatized patients from doing the procedure that they need to do for their continued colon health.

Below is the description of some of the negative side effects possible on your psyche with Versed:

side effects have included a variety of adverse behavioral effects such as disinhibition (especially sexual disinhibition), hostility, rage reactions, restlessness, aggressiveness, and paroxysmal excitement.

Anonymous said...

I recently met with a GI doc who was shocked that I had not had a colonoscopy despite being high risk and having some bleeding. When I started to explain that I had a problem scheduling an exam without sedation, she jumped in and basically said: "you don't want ersed because of the creepy amnesia and possible long-term memory problems, right"? Additionally, she said that she would not want Versed herself and tries not to use it. I was shocked. First, she asked if I wanted sedation at all, and she clarified that this meant sedation without Versed. Propofol by itself seems to be well-tolerated and most patients actually sleep thru the test. She said that I didn't look nervous and that I could do the test with just painkiller (fentanyl) and this was how she had hers; totally awake but mostly pain-free. Certianly a much better option that Versed/fentanyl and the mental anquish that it often causes. She said that sedation is mainly to get patients past the "yick factor" of the test; properly done, it shouldn't be painful. I told her that I trusted her and that I would like to do it drug-free and she agreed. She told me that advised that I let them have the fentanyl on standby in case it got too painful; that way we could finish the exam..but that she would not give me anything unless I asked for it. The exam was easy, although it took a while....The anesthesiologist who stood there with the fentanyl syringe discussed the Versed issuewith me; she said that anesthesiologists often don't see problems with it because they add samall doses to other agents and the long-term memory damage doesn't occur. Endo centers who give 4.5.6 up to 12mg of Versed often in one bolus and really causing problem. The memory damage is NOT malarky. The anesthesiologist was friendly and honest; I really liked her. She noticed that I was having back pain from laying on my left side so she asked if I wanted some fentanyl; I declined but she asked again and joked that it was free and that she certianly would want some; if just for the buzz. So I agreed, pain was gone and the scope popped right past the last bnd that the GI doc was having trouble with. Magic. The anesthesiologist said it was because fentanyl relaxes smooth muscle and the colon is smooth muscle. She said that she was giving me more, and I immediately started to fart uncontrollably and I didn't care. She said that "it relaxes THAT muscle also".

Anonymous said...

You people are full of drama! What a bunch of babies. im glad you aren't me patients. Hypocondria at its finest.

Andy said...

Colonoscopy #1 done, with nothing found ( which is good because nothing bad was found, but bad because I still have no idea what is causing the symptoms ( abdom. pain, bowel habit change, etc ). My wife thinks he said IBS of some sort so I'll learn more on followup visit.

Things I learned from this blog that helped the process:

1. Use crystal lite to flavor the TriLyte, lemonade flavor worked great for me - tasted very close to normal lemonade but was a bit thicker.

2. Keeping a lemon drop in the cheek while drinking really helps, made the drink taste even more like lemonade.

3. A small sip of broth between 16oz bottles of the prep worked great to remove the aftertaste.

4. I used both desitin and petroleum jelly on the backside to prevent it from getting rubbed raw. Worked great, no soreness.

5. Also used baby wipes ( flushable ) for that part.


Because of the debate here about the conscious sedation drugs I asked and about what they were using and was told they gave me versed for the amnesia and demerol for the pain, I don't remember feeling any pain during the procedure but I suspect I slept through most or all of it.

My wife told me the results several times after in the recovery area before it stuck in my memory, that's an odd feeling but not too bad. That means the versed worked, so I'll be keeping an eye out for any complications with memory loss.

One note for those squeamish about IVs like I am, if you ask the nurse to first use lydocain in the IV spot then you wont feel anthing but some pressure - I am usually a baby about IVs but I didnt even feel it.

All in all, this blog is a reat help, I've been nervous about the procedure since I scheduled it, all of the tips and stories ere helped prepare.

Thanks and I wish for everyone reading here dreading their colonoscopy that your experience is as smooth as mine was.

-Andy

Anonymous said...

I was not informed until I asked what drugs would be used for the procedure. I have had the procedure performed 2x - both times I woke up during the procedure and could watch the procedure on the screen and hear the medical staff's conversation. I fully recall everything that was happening while awake. It was painful and I moaned at one point and then the medical team said "oh, you're awake?" and then pushed more Versed and knocked me out. After leaving the hospital, I was not sleepy and went to the mall shopping and afterwards had lunch.

Anonymous said...

Had my first colonoscopy Sept. 23, 2011 and was TERRIFIED. I was not told that Versed/Fentanyl was going to be given, was just told that I would be given something to make me comfy. I was told by MD to count from 100 back and he started giving me something to sedate me. I kind of remember looking at the screen, I was constantly counting and I'm assuming that the procedure was being done, but I was not aware of it until I felt a sharp cramp like pain and hollered "I FEEL THAT!!!" and then the pain went away, then I felt the same pain again and hollered "I FEEL THAT!!!" and the procedure was over. I really don't remember being taken to recovery, but I looked up at a monitor and noticed that my BP was back normal, and the nurse asked me to sip on a sprite.

Prep was a breeze, was given Golytely and I put lemonade crystal light in each 16oz glass, had to down about 5 1/4 16oz glasses, it was like drinking lemonade crystal light. I finished the whole gallon of the prep.

Procedure went fairly well, no polyps found, was told by MD that he will see me in 10yrs. Good luck

David Sewell said...

Had my second colonoscopy yesterday, both times with Versed + Fentanyl. Before the first procedure no one discussed the medications with me, and I was pretty spooked by the amnesiac effects of Versed once I realized that I had been conscious but had not retained memories of the procedure. I procrastinated on the latest colonoscopy even though I'd had polyps removed, but then had a long talk with my primary care physician, whom I trust and who convinced me that risk/benefit calculation was strongly on the side of having a colonoscopy and that the meds, used appropriately, should not be a concern. Knowing ahead of time what to expect made a huge difference--I was prepared for the inability to recollect something I remembered having experienced (very much like one's recollection of having dreamt, but little or nothing of the dream), so it was much less bothersome. I definitely think that patients should be informed ahead of time of the reason for and effects of the meds they'll be given.

Anonymous said...

David, your analogy of a sedation experience being like a dream is not really on the mark. I woke up during my colonoscopy "dream" to severe pain, and then had amnesia that lasted ten times longer than the procedure did. It was more than just bothersome or a little spooky; I found it profoundly disturbing and obsessed about it for months. The main thing I couldn't reconcile was the fact that no one had warned me that would happen - absolutely no mention of the amnesia to me beforehand. Sadly, the damage has been done, and I am now extremely mistrustful of medical people. (What else do they keep from me, and why ??)

Anonymous said...

Had my first colonoscopy this morning with the Versed. No problems and no forgetfulness. Took a nap this afternoon, enjoyed my soup and grilled cheese. Had a good report. The worst part? The prep day is barbaric. Nauseated by the stuff, unable to control the "output" so basically stayed on the throne about three hours at one point. Plan for some old towels on hand, and start out with some Lysol air freshener nearby. My friend was truly my handheld shower to maintain the idea of freshness. Worst 12 hours of my life was the prep day. Yay for the Versed today.

Anonymous said...

I was given versed and fentanyl for my colonoscopy. I've had colonoscopies before - one without any meds (as bad as childbirth but shorter) and one where I didn't remember anything, which was OK.

This last one was horrible. I was awake and aware the whole time. I kept asking questions about the monitor, and because nobody paid any attention or answered, I finally said, "HELLO-O, is anybody here?" A nurse behind me said very crossly, "Look, we have a job to do and don't have time to talk to you."

At another time, they told me to roll from my side to my back. For some reason, I didn't want to, and clung obstinately to the railing on the bed, keeping myself on my side. The nurse yelled at me, "I SAID, TURN ONTO YOUR BACK!" and my hand was yanked off the railing and I was rolled over like a hunk of meat. I was told, "You'll be more comfortable," but I wasn't. It hurt more, and there were times when somebody pressed down on parts of my abdomen. I moaned several times.

When it was over and I was back in recovery, I had a full-blown PTSD flashback episode. I thought I was in a prison and would have to kill the nurse if I was going to escape. Trouble was, I was still so groggy, I couldn't even sit up. So I kept thinking of ways to kill the nurse with ordinary things like pens or a stapler or certain martial arts holds - if I could only get my body to work.

I became very verbally abusive to the nurse because I was so angry at wanting to leave and not being able to. My husband realized I was having a flashback and that I wasn't fully aware of where I was or what was going on, and he tried to help me calm down, but it took a long time.

Later, after the stuff had cleared out of my brain, I could hardly believe my own murderous memories. I am a very gentle, loving person by nature. The memory of not only wanting to kill that nurse but actually thinking of ways to do it is so totally out of character for me, I still feel terrible when I remember it. It's like looking in the mirror and seeing Hannibal Lecter.

I'm sure that I have had versed before for other surgeries, but I have never had a mental meltdown afterward. It was a terrifying experience and I hope I never have to go through anything like it again.

I want to be totally OUT if I ever have to go through any kind of procedure again.

Anonymous said...

I was informed by the VA by mail about a week in advance of the meds which were to be used just prior to the the colonoscopy. Those meds were were Fentanyl and Versed. The first described as a "a narcotic" and the second as a "sedative". The letter went on to say: "Most people do not recall the procedure and will feel drowsy and sleep for a short time." True!

Anonymous said...

I had just had my 3rd or 4th colo compliments of VA. Don't think Versed was used in the first two.No probs then. After this 4th one I Googled side effects of both Vesed and Fentanyl becuz been depressed 3 days after. Wikipedia gave me my answer. After my 3rd one 4yrs ago, I went back to work too soon, lost job due to some VERY uncharacteristic behavior. Wish I had known. Been on lithium 10yrs for bipolar. Shud have waited longer for side E's to end.

Anonymous said...

This was my 4th colonoscopy...the three prior were good. I'm M/41/6'3/215 (family history). One previous colonoscopies, I remember watching the video during the procedure and dozing off occasionally. This time, I was given Versed/demerol and immediately went out...I "re-focused" during the procedure and realized tremendous discomfort, it continued, and continued...I next remember being in recovery with my spouse...the nurse asked how I felt...I said that I remember the pain. To which she replied, "you weren't supposed to remember that"...and "that was when we gave you another dose". Today, one day later, I have a large dark bruise on my right buttock, shoulder pain and feel groggy. My appointment was at 1:30...my wife met me in recovery around 1:55-2:00--we were eating lunch at Chipotle (my choice) at 2:30...I drove home (I can be pretty insistent)...only, to remember much more or what I saw. I'm just glad the doctor was able to set a "personal best"...

Compra Oro Plata said...

i had the same issue with these two medication. I was extensive conscious, looking at the observe and discussing away. While there was no discomfort at all it was creepy for sure. I believed I was the only one that had this level of resistance so it's excellent to listen to I wasn't.

Anonymous said...

My husband went for a colonoscopy today. It was supposed to be a simple screening. I tried to talk him out of it. I believe that if it isn't broke, don't fix it and nothing is as simple as the doctors make it out to be. I work for a hospital, and I know that colonoscopies are a great profit center. My husband insisted that he have this because his doctor recommended that he have one. He has no history of colon cancer in his family but he is over 50. He is now in the cardiac ward and has arrythmyia. This may be a side effect of Versed. It is not common but it can happen to you! Consumer beware!!! They did find 2 little polyps. Was it worth all of this?

Grace said...

I know exactly what you experienced...I too have had vertigo dizziness and even short term Memory loss after 6 days which is today Following versed/fentanyl for colonoscopy.
The doc says she has never heard of those symptoms post colonoscopy.
I received versed after she agreed not to give it to me and to give me only the Fentanyl.
Three people were informed prior to procedure Because I know how easily they can overlook Things..told the nurse in pre procedure said she would
chart it and Dr agreed on phone earlier that AM
that she did not need to give if I requested .
I reminded nurse and dr again as advised to be sure and cover all bases.

Anonymous said...

I have never had, nor will ever have any form of invasive proceedure. Most of them are totally unneccessary and can actually do more harm than good. Also, doctors can only perform these if the patient gives "informed" consent. If you have not been given the complete information prior to the proceedure you have a legal case for battery. To be fair though, I would not as much as take a drink of water from them without knowing exactly what it is, why it is required, consequences of not having it, side effects etc. its your body. Dont let anyone do anything without knowing EXACTLY what it is they want to do. And don't be afraid to say NO

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You have calmed me down.