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The Midazolam Mafia

Posted Mar 17 2009 3:10am
Rough illustration of the anti-midazolam mob

Rough illustration of the anti-midazolam mob

Over the last year, I’ve noticed and interacted with an interesting group of folks at and around the ‘net. There seems to be an underground movement against the use of midazolam (Versed®) or any sedation at all while undergoing procedures such as colonoscopy.

It’s an interesting if not quite articulate group: They infiltrate medical boards such as allnurses and start quasi-professional  sounding pity party threads seeking out sympathy from nurses and, presumably, trying to maximize their google exposure for future patients.

Here’s an example from today:

The nurses in the room the first time tried to force me to take Versed (I had it once before and it has ruined my life totally, memories are gone…years of memories, and I was left with PTSD from the incident, stopped breathing and almost died.) I wear a medic alert bracelet now at all times stating that I’m allergic to this poison that should be banned for use on humans.

Poison that should be banned for use on humans?!

Hyperbole, much?

There is no reasonable discourse path to take with such people. Each and every single one of them will claim that midazolam causes irreparable retrograde amnesia and post-traumatic stress disorder (discounting that midazolam and related drugs are actually used to treat PTSD), and significant chunk of them will claim they nearly died.

Other, less dramatic members of this society will claim that they think a drug that causes any amnesia is dangerous– there goes essentially all the benzodiazepines.

The particularly odd part about it all is that the story always seems the same: The patient either requested no sedation or some other drug, and was lied to and given midazolam without their consent, leading to a whole array of negative consequences. A quick google search for versed will yield many more such stories, too.

It goes without saying that no drug works perfectly in all patients across the board, yet something is fishy about those claiming one of the most-utilized drugs in the country is secretly an evil poison that causes people to forget their children growing up (actually claimed!).

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