Etomidate and its Analogs: A Review of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Beatrijs I. Valk, Michel M. R. F. Struys*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

8 Citaten (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Etomidate is a hypnotic agent that is used for the induction of anesthesia. It produces its effect by acting as a positive allosteric modulator on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor and thus enhancing the effect of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. Etomidate stands out among other anesthetic agents by having a remarkably stable cardiorespiratory profile, producing no cardiovascular or respiratory depression. However, etomidate suppresses the adrenocortical axis by the inhibition of the enzyme 11 beta-hydroxylase. This makes the drug unsuitable for administration by a prolonged infusion. It also makes the drug unsuitable for administration to critically ill patients. Etomidate has relatively large volumes of distributions and is rapidly metabolized by hepatic esterases into an inactive carboxylic acid through hydrolyzation. Because of the decrease in popularity of etomidate, few modern extensive pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic studies exist. Over the last decade, several analogs of etomidate have been developed, with the aim of retaining its stable cardiorespiratory profile, whilst eliminating its suppressive effect on the adrenocortical axis. One of these molecules, ABP-700, was studied in extensive phase I clinical trials. These found that ABP-700 is characterized by small volumes of distribution and rapid clearance. ABP-700 is metabolized similarly to etomidate, by hydrolyzation into an inactive carboxylic acid. Furthermore, ABP-700 showed a rapid onset and offset of clinical effect. One side effect observed with both etomidate and ABP-700 is the occurrence of involuntary muscle movements. The origin of these movements is unclear and warrants further research.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1253-1269
Aantal pagina's17
TijdschriftClinical Pharmacokinetics
Vroegere onlinedatum1-jun-2021
StatusPublished - okt-2021

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