Versed, and Your Procedure
When Talking to your Doctor
About your Procedure:
In preparation for any procedure, you and your
doctor should discuss your concerns around modesty, the selection
of an anesthesiologist, and the drugs that might be administered
to you before, during and after surgery. Your expectations should
be clear in your own mind before you begin that conversation.
Further, if you want to be sure your wishes are followed; you
must write them on any consent form you sign.
Remember that healthcare is a business
and like any business they are motivated by efficiency and a
belief that they are professionals who know what is best for
the patient. Because of this, your doctor will assume
that you will allow yourself to be treated in the way he or
she sees fit and will only answer the questions you raise -
you will not be told any “unpleasant” details unless
you specifically ask. This means you need to educate yourself
so you ask the questions that matter to you and you clearly
state in writing what you want.
There will be many drugs administered to you
before, during and after your procedure. Some are related to
the prevention of infection, others to relieve pain, and others
to “sedate” or “relax” you. You should
be familiar with all the drugs your doctor(s) plan to administer
to you, what they are intended to do, and what their side effects
are. It is also important to know that in healthcare
“awake” means something very different than what
it means to the layperson.
Below you will find information about Midazolam,
most commonly known as Versed, but also marketed as Dormicum
and Hypnovel. These drugs are commonly used in medical procedures
and patients are rarely warned about how the drug will affect
What is Versed and What Does it Do to
Versed is the most commonly used drug in a group
of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs depress the central
nervous system (CNS). Your doctor may refer to diazepam, lorazepam,
midazolam, hyponovel, dormicum, or others as they describe sedation
or sedation management. This class of drugs is designed to provide
for sedation, hypnosis-like compliance, relieve anxiety, muscle
relaxation, and anticonvulsant activity. The “side effect”
that medical professionals most like about these drugs is that
they generally induce anterograde amnesia (prevent memory by
blocking the acquisition and encoding of new information). In
other words, medical professionals like these drugs because
most people will not remember what happens to them while under
their effect even though they are “awake.”
In medical terms, this is called conscious sedation. While under
the influence of these drugs, patients feel drowsy or may sleep,
they will be free of anxiety, and will therefore be very compliant
with medical professionals (they will not advocate for themselves),
and they will mostly likely not remember anything about what
happened. It is these last two consequences that most appeal
to the healthcare industry.If you’re given Versed prior
to being brought into the Operating Room, you will likely not
remember who is in the room, being placed on the OR table or
being prepared for anesthesia. Further, once surgery is over,
you will likely be give a few more doses of Versed, again that
means you will likely not remember being in the PACU.
Versed is commonly used for minor procedures such as setting
broken bones, colonoscopies, endoscopies, some dental procedures,
and some surgical prepping procedures. Versed may also be used
after surgery for sedation, or to help keep the patient calm
while on the ventilator. Versed may also be used in combination
with pain medications or other types of sedation.
Versed has caused very serious breathing problems, especially
if used with other medications that cause drowsiness (e.g.,
narcotic pain medications such as morphine) in some cases. Keep
this in mind: Versed or similar sedative drug legally invalidates
any patient testimony regarding their treatment.
Concerns About Versed And How to Refuse Versed:
Beware when a nurse or doctor tells you that he/she will give
you something to relax you before surgery. It is very
likely that the medication is Versed or another drug in this
class. Doctors, anesthesiologist or nurses often administer
these drugs without telling the patient what they are doing,
warning the patient that once the drug is administered they
will no longer be able to participate in healthcare decisions
or remember what happens after getting the drug. Patients are
generally only told they are being given “something to
relax you” and often they are told this as the drug is
Versed is not required for surgery. Medical professionals use
it for convenience. Once the patient is sedated, patients do
not protest or complain about pain or modesty. Some medical
professionals give Versed to patients who are outspoken about
their wishes during procedures, particularly if they express
concerns about modesty or wanting a same gender medical team.
Though the FDA has approved Versed as an anti-anxiety drug,
side effects can be physically, cognitively and emotionally
traumatic for patients. Your doctor will likely not tell you
about these. Some of potential side effects of Versed according
to Versed Busters
Note that many medical professional refuse Versed or similar
drugs for their own procedures because they see firsthand
the consequences of conscious sedation.
* Paradoxical reactions including anxiety, delirium and aggression.
This includes patients attacking or trying to leave. They
lose touch with reality, not knowing where they are or what
is really occurring.
* Some patients experienced a distorted, nightmarish version
of their procedure accompanied by feelings of abandonment
* A kind of sleep paralysis - patient is aware but cannot
move and cannot communicate.
* Amnesia did not take place for some patients. Some patients
only have a partial memory loss and they can recall a bad
* Some patients report a "creepy obedience" overcoming
* Many patients report symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) after having this drug.
* Panic or anxiety episodes ("flashbacks") for
some time (weeks, months, years) post-op.
* Long term memory disruption. Memories formed prior to the
use of Versed are lost. Some people are unable to retain new
information or complete tasks.
* Slower recovery time.
Also note that Versed is also known as a date-rape drug.
Versed is perfect for predators because it make the recipient
completely compliant and generally induces memory loss of traumatic
events. For example, a male nurse gave some women Versed
and then raped them. Check out this
case for more information. Any patient who is given Versed
is in a vulnerable position to be sexually abused in medical settings.
A patient who is sexually abused while under influence of Versed
will rarely remember what happened. Keep in mind that a medical
professional will rarely testify against another medical professional
or even tell you if anything inappropriate happened. Check
out Do Chaperones Really Protect Patients? If you were under
the influence of Versed and you were sexually abused, it would
be a difficult case because a defense lawyer will argue that Versed
has an amnesiac effect and that you could not remember what really
of people’s experiences with Versed:
Additional Articles about
Consider the information above and any other information you
have found about this class of drugs before you talk to your
doctor or anesthesiologist. We recommend you not
consent to Versed or any similar drug and that you are clear
about your wishes on any document you sign. Our recommendation
is based on two things: 1) once this drug is administered you
are no longer able to advocate for yourself or remember how
you are being treated. This is true even though you will be
told that you will be “awake.” 2) There are alternatives
to this class of drugs that allow you to remain more involved
in your treatment and most importantly recall what happened
(see below.) Regardless of your choice of sedation, know that
once you have been given Versed you are unable to give legal
consent. So if you have written on your consent forms your expectations
for treatment, your doctor cannot argue that you gave “consent”
while under Versed.
Other Options to Consider
Options for managing pain in procedures such
as colonoscopies for patients who want to be awake are:
1.) Fentanyl, (a pain medication)
and Demerol (also a pain medication) this combination
has been used in cases for pain control but where the patient
will remain aware and be able to view the colonoscopy monitor
and/or converse with the doctor during the procedure.
2.) Fentanyl and Valium
– A combination of Fentanyl and Valium during the procedure
often allows the patient to converse with the physician during
the exam. One patient shared that experience with having Fentanyl
and Valium used during his procedure allowed him to converse
with the doctor after the exam and could remember the conversation.
He recovered quickly and was able to leave the hospital much
sooner than those given other types of sedation. He was also
not groggy during the day and even went dancing later that
In conclusion, there is no valid reason to
ever purposely induce amnesia during a medical procedure. The
induction of amnesia is never medically necessary. Medical professionals
administer it to make their job easier by making the patient
more compliant and not be able to recall the events of the procedure.
We need to spread awareness to as many people as possible about
Versed and encourage them to take precautions to ensure that
they are never given Versed or similar drugs.
You should write on your consent form ALL your expectations.
Specifically, if you do not want Versed write, “I DO NOT
consent for use of Versed, Midazolam, or any benzodiazepines
in any AMOUNT or at ANYTIME EVER” Then sign your name.
This also needs to be stated to your anesthesiologist and written
on documents he or she brings. Make sure you sign the consent
forms and share your wishes before they hook you to IV.
You also could type a document that says something like:
I DO NOT consent for use of Versed, Midazolam, or any benzodiazepines
in any AMOUNT or at ANYTIME EVER.
I now boldly state amnesia must not happen anytime during this
treatment (include name of surgery or procedure) under any circumstances.
Then sign your name. Make multiple copies of the form and give
a copy to every medical professional that is involved in your
of Sedative Medications in the Intensive Care Unit
Midazolam (Versed) Blog