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Is Versed being used for torture?


Here's my most disturbing idea yet. There are drugs which erase memory (or rather block the formation of memories while they are used.) It seems disturbingly probable to me that these might be being used for torture. Espcially considering the light of new memos giving the US the green light for torture.

If you don't know of this class of drugs, you may have heard of "Roofies" the "date rape" drug which have been used to both make a victim pliable and also to make her forget the rape. There are stronger drugs, such as Versed, which are used in surgery.

The surgical use is quite disturbing. They want to perform a procedure on you while you will be somewhat conscious, but it is painful and upsetting and will leave mental scars -- so they put you through the pain but block you from remembering it.

However, it must be obvious to those wishing to do torture that this could be applied here too. Apply the drug, then apply torture which leaves few permanent marks. The victim would awaken unaware they had been tortured or what they had confessed to. They could not testify later about their torture, they would not even know to.

It's hard not to think that this would be a more "humane" form of torture, in the same way the surgical use of the drugs is humane. After all, you just want the information, why leave the victim with psychic scars, as there always are from torture. This is frightening because it might make the public much more accepting of torture. And on top of that, how will we ever find out if torture is going on? Only from the torturers themselves.

This is just the start of a trend. Tools like "brain fingerprinting" already exist which cause no pain but examine your brain to find out if you remember something you are being shown, or if it's the first time you are seeing it. People have already suggested this is so benign as to be suitable for airport screening!

I predict we'll see newer and "better" torture and interrogation techniques in the near future. Better brain scans. Polygraphs that actually work. More powerful drugs that affect not just memory but compliance. Perhaps eventually nanomachines that reach in and target brain centers to create compliance.

Some of these may already exist -- though I think not too many or our intelligence communities would be doing a better job on terrorism than they are.

But they will exist. How will we as a society cope with them? We already seem willing to forget about the prohibitions on torture in the constitution and international law. We'll pretend the prohibitions don't even exist for these new forms.

The only way to avoid them will be to work soon for strong laws and eventually an explicit constitutional amendment protecting the right of privacy in our thoughts. And that will be a long time coming.

Update: More stories of Versed and other memory drugs in my new memory tag.


Have you ever had Versed?

I've had Versed - several times. Once, they didn't use enough. I *still* have a *clear* memory of the pain and discomfort.

The Physician and I had a little chat about that post-ops.

IMHO, it is well to remember that the amnesia is not always amnesia. Sometimes it is memory!

Don't you think this is just going to encourage realy thick terrorists who had not thought of this. Now not only do they know what the drug is, where to get it, but what it can as well. I may only be a citizen but telling more people about this can only do more harm than good.

I had terrible reactions to Versed in the 90s. In fact, its never been given to me since...I have a history of close-head injury as an adult, and Meningitis as a child, and seizures. Now, this "new" GI surgeon insists "I always give it to patients..." and will not back down, in spite of handing him my former doctors contact numbers. He said "I don't need to talk to other doctors."

Well, I don't need him, either, and really hope he ends up in enough crap to send him packing back home to India. He wouldn't dare say that or act in such an irresponsible manner in India.

The last time I had Versed, besides the earlier breathing problems, and increased neuro activity (Oral Surgeon documented my reactions), it was for a colonoscopy about '94. I literally had no memory of activities for the following 4-1/2 days, and couldn't be awakened after the procedure, so the GI surgeon kept coming back to see how I was doing. All in spite of a daughter visiting me, and the enjoyment we had visiting friends, etc. the 5 days after the procedure. No memory of anything. The GI surgeon at that time (more highly intellectual than this bloke in Lubbock) told me to "NEVER accept that drug or any in its group again...I'll chart this..." I still have his note to me, but Dr. Smartee-pants refused to read anything. He'd prefer to bury his mistakes.

This is extremely naive. The real terrorists we have to fear with abuse of this drug work for the United States government and police agencies. They will use this to compel confessions, as part of a torture regimen, and to mask other crimes. It is extremely important to point the possibilities and the abuse evident with such a drug, and in that respect Templeton is performing a public service. We cannot be naive "sheeple", and accept the Bush/Chaney argument that government torture is acceptable because of the threat of terrorism by some radical group. State terrorism is a far worse, and more likely, prospect.

Ah yes, Komboa, too true. Bush and Cheney instituted ever more open advocacy of torture right til the end. Secret prisons exist right here in the US, I've seen the proof, heard interviews with at least 1 "inmate"; this has been going on since the 70s. We don't even need to cite Guantanamo, those in Europe, as well as the horrors built in various states of the "3rd" world.

So we're gonna worry about "Versed"? Aside from the fact that its a shitty little drug and administered for MD convenience, it barely merits a mention. Of course they can use Versed. I'm just of the opinion that Versed is nothing compared to what they've developed since that little tool.

I had versed used before y most recent surgery, and if you've been thru anesthesia awareness, you know the anxiety I felt. It helps if you can't remember, becuase then you can't be nervous. I'd say from my only use, it blocks ost of your memories. I remember the nurse giving it to me, feeling the effects and telling the nurse. I know we (the nurse and I) talked for a bit, although I don't remember about what, and then she wished me luck, and I was being wheeled back to the OR. I remember the strapping me to the table, putting on the various monitors, and putting the mask over me, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up. kind of scared me, but yet relieved me at the same time. (BTW, if you've been thru awareness, and read this, I wanna talk to you. yahoo groups, anesthesia awareness survivors!)

So its of no help by bringing this up.
First off information is neither good nor evil till it is used.
secondly, he raised a good point. What if our government is using this or other drugs/techniques to torture and obtain information from people.

Because you can't stop something you don't know about.

Bob! By suggesting that in a comment, you've encouraged *really* *really* thick terrorists who had not thought of using this themselves *and* had read Brad Templeton's blog, to use it in their own terroristic careers. Do try to keep quiet about your ideas! It's the patriotic thing to do.

The Russians were reported to have used succiny chlorine on Israeli prisoners in Syra, 1973. The drug, administred by injection, causes convulsive muscular spasms, leaving the victim totally paralised, in agonising pain, unable to breathe properly, but concious. The victim himself dying for lack of oxygen, although the effict is transitory, but there is then the threat of a repeat experience.
Well kiddies this is reality.

I also have been given Versed by a doctor and not enough to cover the most traumatic part of the procedure (a widening of my esophagus that required me to be conscious and shift positions when necessary). I vividly remember reaching my hand out, 5 fingers stretched wide, to try to grab and kill the doctor. I remember a needle was then injected into the back of that hand and then I saw some lucky charms floating in front of me and that was that (they had to knock me out). True I've forgotten most of the events of that day, even after leaving the hospital, but it is my opinion that the most traumatic moments still register and the drug is only meant to minimize trauma. It would definitely not make someone forget full-blown torture, especially at the dosage required to have the person respond in a meaningful way to interrogation.

See my comments at
I'm the 43 year old hernia guy.
I'm interested in discussing Versed with other concerned parties and making people aware that the medical community is regualry using amnesia inducing drugs. I'm quite irritated by my experience.

Tim, I am interested in sueing the drug manufacturer, the hospital, the anesthesiologist and his nurse and John and Jane Doe's 1 through 100 for giving me this drug without my knowledge or consent! I am now suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from their cavalier use of this psycotropic drug. I am shaking with rage as I write this! They had NO RIGHT to use this drug on me. I specifically requested that I remain awake and alert and that I not have a general anesthetic either! They tried to erase my memory and instead I became a medical zombie, aware of what was going on, but without the will to resist. I am going to put an ad in our local paper and see if others have felt the same way and see about a class action suit.

Hi Jackie Murray, I too just experienced a VERSED nightmare, was awake the entire time during my colonoscopy and endoscopy procedure but unable to communicate the experience or articulate it fully. The nurse kept screaming at me to take deep breaths. I complained afterwords, but the Dr. said they thought the procedure tolerable. At one point I was squeezing the nurses hand so hard I thought it would fall off, tears were rolling out of my eyes and I was trying to articulate my pain. They would dose me up, I was left drooling but still conscious, just not able to articulate. Class action? Sure. email me. nouklana at

I too had the same reactin to Versed nightmare. I am now in pursuit of fighting back. I would like it so if you could give me some type of advice or even words of encouragement. Please email me as soon as you get this.

I too agree that the medical folks lump everybody in the same boat and give these medications to zombie us up especially when we repeat "awake and aware" . I have had a horrible experience with a "routine colonoscopy" in 1995 and was told I would not be asleep. I awakened 48 hours later and cannot remember anything during a three day period. And guess what? I have had three of the same procedures done with NO sedatives at all. No valium, no versed, and no routine phenegran/stadol combos that they give to "everybody". My friend who is a surgeon has performmed my colonoscopies and now my husband has had all his done with "no sedatives"/ We drive ourselves to the hospital and drive ourselves home and have NO NIGHTMARES afterwards. Also, I have had three children with NO MEDICATIONS and the last two at home, and people still try to convince me that it was horrible and I must be crazy. All I know is that it was the most rewarding times of my life and I was actually able to care for them from the first minute they were born. How rare! Now I am facing a procedure this Friday that is elective and they have already started the prescriptions for pain (before hand) and all this sedation stuff. That's why I have lost three nights sleep already and as you see am studying all over again what my rights as a human being is (at this time of night) becoming as knowledgeable as I can before they start the argument just to lie to you later.
The worst part by far is that you and I seem to react to mistreatement the same way. I look at this as MY CHOICE if I can tolerate the procedure why do they think they have to take my mind and make me literally sick with worry. It reminds me of Jack Nicholson in "one flew over the cocoos nest" I saw when I was in the seventh grade and never got over the treatemt using the labatomy. Seems like modern day medicine is not much better. Now, back to the facts.
We pay for this treatment and there should be some responsibility of the caregivers to do just that - be caring and help us be better - not worse.

Please don't forget about the enormous cost associated with sedation, not only the drug expense which is minimal, but the cost of increased nursing care (called "levels of care" each costing more than the last)after being injected with this poison. Extra time in each hospital room, e.g. preop, operating theater and PACU, which they can bill in minute by minute increments. Yes, you ARE paying for it and they want to get the most bang for the buck. Why just have 300 dollar procedure when you can pad your billing with sedation costs? You can EASILY double or even triple or more, the costs associated with any procedure just by adding in their little patient control and amnesia drug. We are doomed with this drug. There are just too many upsides to its use by medical professionals. No lawsuits from amnestic patients, unnaturally obedient patients who will go along with pretty much anything, funny, chatty patients who will entertain the staff with their uncensored private thoughts and last but not least the huge profit to be had. These people will defend the use of this drug Versed until their dying breath. Its creepy how much medical people like this drug until you think about all of the above. Add in some really sadistic caregivers who like torturing people and there you have it! The perfect drug.

Wow am I sick and tired of you 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.

Get over it? I didn't demand drugs, quite the contrary I demanded NO drugs. I didn't have anxiety, I DID want to remember the procedure and I wasn't supposed to be under general anesthesia. I see that you are laboring under the delusion that we actually WANT what you describe, in fact demand it! The GFY comment is typical of todays anesthesia providers and Versed is the GFY drug isn't it? I hope everybody who reads your post realizes that anesthesia providers are hostile to their patient. Versed is used for their GFY moments with the hapless and helpless patients. The truth of the matter isn't that "all patients need something to complain about." The truth of the matter is that there are people like you that have a GFY attitude, don't listen to what patients are saying to you, and feel animosity and disdain for your patients! You have a drug in your arsenal which is detrimental to the patient and yet you use it. We complain about it and you say GFY! Nice...

HEY! DAM YOU GET OVER your self! MY IV INFILTRATED BEFORE I WAS administered any VERSET THE CARDIOLOGIST USED all the examples (as shown"tolerated well" and so on....HE KNEW DAM WELL I WAS SCREAMING TO STOP WAIT FOR THE MEDS

And you have a license to practice medicine? My father is an anesthesiologist and he would never say, let alone think the things you've said. I'm alarmed for your patients with your GFY attitude. Maybe you should consider a career change before you really hurt someone (assuming you haven't already). Or maybe you like the idea of hurting patients and then making them forget it?

I had versed with demerol for an endoscopy. they inserted a camera down my throat. one time, i was not given enough, and i remember how painful it was with my doctor repeatedly jamming the camera in my throat and saying "swallow. Swallow!"

I have refused the procedure since then. I think if they have to make you forget, then they are not taking enough steps to prevent the discomfort in the first place. -- E.J.

Trackback from Sour Grapes:This is not a new idea. I googled on versed interrogation. The 5th hit was a New Republic article written by Jed Babbin, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense in the first Bush administration, from more than a year ago. Here is the relevant extract: Capture......

I just had Versed used to have wisdom teeth removed.

I was not expecting what happened. I went from mid-conversation with my doctor to my bed at home, and I couldn't remember anything in between. I was under the impression I was getting knocked out, but I couldn't figure out why I still had no memory of ever going home.

My dad told me that I was conscious, talking to him, and trying to play with my Ipod, with little success. I couldn't walk straight.

I want to know more about this. Did I, at one point, consciously experience surgery? Even if I can't remember it, it bothers me to know that I went through that. Its just creepy to me. What exactly do they mean by conscious? I just want to know more about the state that I was in.

I encourage folks who have complaints about their versed experience to post on!

I had Versed for a colonoscopy, but I was very aware of extreme pain partway through the procedure. Not only was the dosage too low, I believe the doctor felt he didn't need to be gentle because I wouldn't remember anyway. Obviously the dosage of this drug is critical, which makes me wonder if it's really that much of a threat for "date rape"?

I am currently in college majoring in medical transcription. In our sample reports that we have to type up, I have come across a report that talks of a patient being sedated with Versed and Demerol for a colonoscopy of the Cecum. It says he was "sedated" intravenously and they put a lubricated camera scope where the sun doesnt shine. In the post op, the patient complains of extreme pain upon insertion and painful sensations when the camera shifted around his colon because the doctor didn't take the appropriate cautions. Yet, in the origional operative report, the doctor says that "the patient tolerated the procedure well." I, Personally, think this is kind of scary. The doctor seemed like they didn't care. The doctor obviously thought that he wouldn't know or remember if he did know, yet when he woke up and the effects of the drug wore off, he remembered all of the painful experiences. - Just a little extra brain food to back your theory up.

I did have versed used for my vasectomy. Yes, it was odd. One minute I was there, the next I was headed for surgery with the people asking me if I knew what I was in for. I remember parts of the procedure, flashes, like a dream. It was just strange. I don't remember any pain, period. The overall experience was positiive.

I had versed for a colonoscopy. I remember nothing, no pain, no weird things. Once the procedure was over, i vaguely remember the person having me in a wheel chair, but not getting dressed to be there, not getting home or getting undressed, but apparently i talked to my wife. No side affects from the procedure or the drug. I am bi polar. My experience was great

I am a nurse, working in an outpatient surgery center. What I see is that Versed is used to keep people calm, so that fear is not a factor in their pain levels. Indeed, Versed does not otherwise reduce pain, which is why it is given along with a narcotic (Demerol or Fentanyl, usually). The only way a doctor knows if you're having pain is if you tell him/her so, or moan, or whatever. If it is safe to give you more drugs, the doctor should. I have seen a couple of cases where it looked like the person slept through the procedure, but complained later about how painful it was. I have no explanation for this. Personally, Versed has served me well during my procedures.

In response to the RN that works with Versed all the time, I have an obvious question.....If a person you thought was asleep having a medical procedure done on Versed comes out of it and said they were in pain throughout the entire procedure, how are they going to tell you? You stated that you don't know if a person is in pain unless they advise you that they are....Versed paralyzes people so they can be in pain, and will try to scream out for help, but are unable to speak at all. This happened to my girlfriend during a colonoscopy. They didn't give her enough or any pain meds, but dosed her up with versed. She has IBS and was in terrible pain, she tried and tried to scream out and let the Dr know, but was unable to speak or utter a sound. She said it was the most frightening experience of her life....pure torture, she will never have this done again she stated.

Versed does not kill pain.It is a benzo like valium but alot stronger.It is used with anesthesia ,local and general as the first shot to relax you.Versed is a good drug but needs to be mixed with an opoid or propofol,and a host of other drugs also this drug can be mixed with. This drug is very good and works just right when the doctor knows what he is doing.Like any drug "Ketamine", Versed can also be abused, there is abuse with all kinds of agents so leave Versed alone.

People reading this should be aware that this drug can cause you to SERIOUS problems. It is not a good drug and should be banned. I had a terrible experience with it and can't stress enough that it is DANGEROUS and should be avoided like the plague if you can. Of course the doctors seem to be so enthralled with this drug that they will do or say anything to give it to you without your consent.... Watch out.

I agree with Jackie - I had a bad experience with this drug. I object to the amnesia and be warned- they are very sneaky and forceful about using it. I will never go in again without some sort of legal guarantee that this, and drugs like it, will not be used. The treatment I received severely damaged my trust in medical folks.

One of the main draws to the torturing crowd is that the tortured person will not recall exactly what, if any, information was divulged during torture. A great way to get your information, release the unwitting informant (of course with an implanted microphone and GPS) so that they will return to the nest of ne'er-do-wells to gather more info...
Whoops, gotta go, someone is knocking down my front door...

I too think Versed should be banned. It allows jaded, arrogant practitioners to treat you like sh*t and get away with it. I too had a bad experience with it. Check out my anti-versed blog at

and also the negative comments at

Any medical practitioner that uses this drug is either naive or a damn jerk!

Never again - not if I can help it!


Interesting to read people's experiences with Versed. I took it yesterday for a colonoscopy (along with a mild morphine-based painkiller), and the experience apprently went flawlessly - same thing as others, went from entering the procedure room straight to recovery, nothing in between. But I 'came to' with a wierd feeling on having no loss of continuity then instantly realised I couldn't remember between A and Z. I'm grateful for the care taken and effectiveness of the drug. But I feel somehow robbed of something. I wish I'd taken the time to ask the nurse about how it went, what I seemed to have experienced, etc. It's the same feeling I get when I can't quite remember a dream - some kind of loss, but WHAT, exactly?

I had Versed yesterday for retinal surgery. I remember getting very loopy and being wheeled down the hall to the OR, then nothing until I woke up in Recovery. I thought I was fine, but don't remember getting dressed although I do remember being in a wheelchair in the hospital lobby and then everything after that. They told my friend that I was very disoriented during the surgery, that I was very claustrophobic and didn't want them to drape my face before the eye surgery. Very strange experience. I can't imagine having this drug for dental extractions or anything mild like that. I'm supposed to have neck surgery in January but I'm thinking seriously about asking for something other than Versed for the "conscious light sedation".

Versed is being used daily by educated Pediatric Dentists to be able to perform proceedures on non-treatable children. The alternative is general anesthesia. A belligerant 4 year old, an autistic, a dentophobe because of parental perceptions, simply fear and uncontrollabe behavior. This is a valid drug in the proper setting.

Versed is used daily by Pediatric Dentists to perform proceedures that could be done only under General Anesthesia otherwise. Belligerant 4 year olds, autistics, mentally retarded, extreme fear due to parental pre conseptions, just plainly spoiled kids-they don,t want to cooperate. It's a choice of physical cooperation or chemical and the AAPD is very active in the debate. Before vilifying a useful drug look at the benefits it is giving. JEM

Message remove because it had a spelling flame in it. Read your netiquette guides, folks.

Several years ago, I had an ERCP done using Versed. It is more complicated than an endoscopy. This procedure involves going down the throat and into an organ; dropping a camera in, and so forth. It was used to detect problems with my gallbladder. Sorry, but the details and names are too horrific to remember.

All, I know is that for 30 minutes I thought I was being tortured to death. I felt like my insides were being ripped apart. I could not speak; I was told not to move, and the procedure went on and on. The doctor kept saying, Im giving her so much of this stuff and she is not responding.

Now, I have significant problems and need a colonoscopy and will not have it done because I would rather die (if necessary) than go through that again. I mean it. It was worse than childbirth (and I had 27 hours of difficult labor).

What can I do? What do I ask for? Benzodiazpenes have no effect on me whatsoever, thanks to addiction by prescription by doctors for panic attacks for over 30 years. So, now the doctors who put me on Ativan (benzo), could not get me off of it and I am stuck taking it in a very high dose daily, probably for the rest of my life. I am not getting high on it; but if I try to stop I get very, very sick. I have done this a couple of times and ended up in ER, and was told that I could die doing that. They tried to get me off VERY slowly for over a year, but I would reach a point of, say 4mgs a day (still a very high dose), and be unable to get lower without convulsing.

My question is, and I dearly hope someone has an answer. What do I do?
I am not addicted to any other drug. I am a drug addict,I guess, but by doctor's prescription, not because I abuse it or get it illegally.
Thank you.
Please respond someone. I am so scared I am crying here.

I wish I could help you Dreeanna, but I am having panic attacks myself now AS A DIRECT RESULT OF VERSED! I am dealing with it by causing as much of a ruckus as possible, turning these people in to the proper authorities, contacting medical associations, writing letters to the editors of newspapers and in general making a nuisance of myself. There has to be a way of forcing our voices to be heard and putting a stop to our abuse with the benzo family of drugs. In particular Versed. Good luck girl, we are with you!

The benzodiazepine family of drugs are mostly the same in the area of the brain they act upon. Your unpleasnt experience with Verced is most regretable. The procedure you had is not one that doctors like to use general on, nor do they like to use general on a colonoscopy. Did you tell your doctor that you were addicted to valium prior to your procedure? My main concern at this point is your addiction to valium. You say, 'Benzodiazpenes have no effect on me whatsoever', well clearly this is not true. I say this, because you also say, 'thanks to addiction by prescription by doctors for panic attacks for over 30 years. So, now the doctors who put me on Ativan (benzo), could not get me off of it and I am stuck taking it in a very high dose daily, probably for the rest of my life.' You seem to indicate you were given valium for 30 years for panic attacks, then then doctor moved you to Ativan on a reduced basis to get you clean. You said you were able to get down to 4mg a day. Well good for you, this is NOT a high dose. If you can be maintained on 4mg of Ativan a day you are in good shape. After 30 years on valium, your brain chemistry changes. Most people experience depression from such long exposure to valium. You can get completely clean from benzodiazepines with another try. Good for the doctor who did try. Try again. Gradual low doses over a 12 week period. If you are having convulsions, you need to see a specialist. It is unlikely that gradual reduction therapy for coming off benzodiazepine are the primary cause of your convulsions. As for the colonoscopy, talk to your doctor; there are a number of substitutes for versed.

Last year, I had a colonoscopy. After they inserted the IV, I remember the nurse telling me to turn over on my left side. The next thing I remember was another nurse asking me if I wanted something to drink, in the recovery area. Anything in between is a total blank. Later, I asked the Dr. what was given to me, he said Versed. The worst part of the colonoscopy was the preparation the night before. I will not hesitate to return to this Dr. if needed for another one. I don't want to remember, or feel any pain. For me, Versed is the greatest thing since TV. A friend, who has also had a colonoscopy with Versed, also feels the same way. I am sorry for any of you who have had a bad experience, but mine was great, and I will not hesitate to use it again. Why would anyone want to remember pain??

Just three days ago I had the displeasure of having a colonoscopy. I am by no means petite and as I am sure most everyone knows the larger the body the more drugs it takes to have an affect. Today, I went back to the location of my procedure and requested copies of what medications were used as well as the dosages. I received copies of that information as well as my blood pressure every 5 minutes during the procedure along with pre and post procedure. Most people's normal blood pressure averages 120/80 ish. I went in with a B.P. of 143/113 (pre procedure), we all know that medications that help keep you calm also keep your blood pressur lower. During the procedure my B.P. was running 174/90, post procedure it was 176/106 and 161/104...I'd say that these numbers verify I was quite awake and very much in pain. The failure was not on the doctor's part, as he was "behind" me, the fault was on the nurse's part by not noticing me cringing and crying, I did not want to move and cause any more pain. My nurse spent most of his time walking back and forth in the room. Just to let you know, initially I was given 3 mg of versed as well as 75 mg of fentanyl, I did say "ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch" just after the insertion of the scope and was then given an additional 2 mg of versed and 25 mg of fentanyl. I remember everything and now I am traumatized at night when I try to sleep, I lay down on my side and all I can remember is the entire procedure and therefore cry myself to sleep. Tonight I am taking an Ambien. On a good note, my physician did call me at home an hour after the procedure and informed me that my nurse did not tell him I was awake and in pain until just a few minutes before the procedure was complete. He stated "I was worried about you". I cannot put all the blame on the physicians in general, it is the responsibility of the person monitoring the client's vital signs to inform the doctor of changes or problems. I know there will be future procedures, but have been promised by this doctor that he would make sure I was completely out during any future procedures, and my comment was "YES, you will". Signed, sleep deprived

i also had versed for a colonoscopy. I remember vividly begging them to stop becauyse I was hurting so bad! I didn't know if I was verbally saying this or trying to say it& could not. It freaked me out, because they never stopped. At one point I remember lifting my head to look at the monitor& it showed my BP being 138/94. I started the colonoscopy w/a BP of 90/60, which is my norm. If they are monitoringme& see I am in distress w. a higher BP& heart rate, why not give me something else? This has haunted me!
When I asked the DR, she mentioned I moaned a few times& I don't believethat& also said the next colonoscopy, she will make sure she gets a anesthesiologist in the room. Doesn't that say- without saying she knew I was in distress??

I am 5'4", 130lb, and I had a colonoscopy with Versed 3mg. and Fentanyl 100 mg. I endured pain the entire procedure and passed out when it was completed. My memory of it was not erased. The first thing I said was that it was horribly painful. I felt trapped. It was physical and mental torture. I told my spouse that I would rather be dead, and I meant it. I endured a painful nightmare that continues to disturb my sleep, and has caused aftermath episodes of painful gastric spasms. My doctor has apologized for these effects. He admits that I "did not have very much sedation", but denies that I experienced pain. His "procedure report" states that the patient tolerated the procedure well." I was not out; the sedative dulled only my ability to scream or to pull away from the nurse's hold on me. I hope I can get my blood pressure records. I am sending my experience to my state's health facility licensing and compliance division. No one should endure this.

Please also contact the FDA medwatch program and your state elected representatives, your state Senator and Congressperson. I am doing this in my state, trying to get this drug either off the market (fat chance) or an extra informed consent form that MUST be signed and include the possible mental side effects(the nightmares, PTSD, anxiety attacks etc.), amnesia and hypnotic effects of this drug Versed. This warning should also clearly state that if the drug does not work as expected, you may be awake mentally, but unable to defend yourself in any way, paralyzed by the drug. This is the main cause of the PTSD that many of us are suffering from.

Thank you so very much for responding. I am experiencing less frequent, yet still daily attacks. Waiting for the nurse's vital sign record to help me understand more of what happened to me. Thank you. I will contact those you recommend.

Versed is a strong benzodiazepine. This is the same family as valium, ativan, temazepam, and many others. Dosage and how the drug is administered has a lot to do with how people react to it. Versed is usually administer IV (a shot). Truly it impairs short term memory in most people. For most surgical procedures it is very safe and far, far safer than a general anesthesia of any kind.

As for the idea that versed can be used to block prisoner memories of torture, well I am missing the logic. Versed is a painkiller used normally very sucessfully for some rather invasive surgical procedures. So to follow the logic, you want to torture a prisoner and you give them an anesthetic first? Believe me, you could remove a finger on verced and prisoner would not feel it, much less tell you the information you want to know because he is in no pain when on versed. Sorry, just does not make sense. I use versed daily. I am pleased to get away from general anesthetics, where there is much risk.

The comment that says it is unlikely a torturer would give aesthesia to someone about to be tortured does seem to make simple sense. I could understand it if one was tortured first and then given a memory repressive drug, but versed would not work as that. So I think the theory of the blog is flawed.

People are not numb under it.

However, there are many forms of torture that are not based in pain. The current hot topic in the USA is waterboarding, where you lie the victim head-down on an inclined board and pour water (or more commonly something less pleasant) into their mouth until it fills up to the trachea. Very, very disturbing, but not pain in the usual sense and highly effective. I don't know how the relaxation caused by Versed would affect it, nor do I particularly want to learn.

However, my speculation here is not simply about Versed but other memory blocking drugs. The classified world has almost surely researched other memory blocking drugs, some of which may not be relaxing or anaesthetic. Versed is just a reminder that memory blocking drugs are available.

Versed is NOT a painkiller, it is an amnesia producing drug. The "interviewee" (prisoner) will most definately feel pain, but his/her memory of it will probably be blocked. It also has an additional effect of releasing inhibitions, which would be well suited to information gathering. There is however, a problem with slurred speech and an inability to concentrate which might be annoying to the "interviewer."

Ten years ago I was given Versed in preparation for a little out-patient surgery. I woke up three days later from an induced coma, full heart bypass and respirator, as I also had to have open heart massage. By the grace of God, the hospital heart surgeon was on the floor when I "died"... i.e. no heartbeat, no respiration, etc. He took over, split my chest, and reached inside of me to pump my heart with his hand.
When the hospital staff "found" me, death throes were over and I was blue-gray in color... down to some braiwaves evidently.
But I had it easy... my wife and children went thru hell.
My wlfe was told they had lost me, didn't know if they could get me back, and if they could, they didn't know how much brain damage there would be.
So now, I too have had the scopes people before me have mentioned, both down the throat and the other direction, without being put to sleep.
These procedures are a piece of cake! It's great to walk in, get them done, and walk out and go to work.
I always talk to any doctor or dentist whenever they may want to use a drug and enlighten them to the fact that they can kill someone with a little bit of medicine.
Nightmares... depression... I wish I could sleep thru the night just one more time...
Good luck Sportsfans... lets start a group for "Versed Survivors".
I have stronger feelings for joining this group, than for a cancer survivor group.
And yes, I am signing this "Anonymous". When I speak of my life, and remember how I was treated by the insurance company and some of the doctors I had, I am very, very serious. So before I make myself even madder (not at those of you with bad experiences), I will take my leave.
Good luck to all.

The first time that I had Versed was for a colonoscopy. I had been told by the doc. that I would be knocked out. I was told by the nurse that I would receive a twilight sedation. No one mentioned Versed or the amnesia effect of it. The Versed was administered in the procedure room. The next thing I remember I was back in the holding area where I started. I wanted to talk but found that my words couldn't catch up to my thoughts. I vaguely remembered saying ough during the procedure and wanted to ask the doc about it but couldn't get the words to come from my mind to my mouth. For the next several weeks, I had the strange feeling of trying to remember something that I couldn't. Like when you know that you know someone's name but you just can't remember it. It kept my up at night thinking about it. It was the first thing that I thought about when I got up in the morning. A strange obsession. I contacted my doctor's office to get a copy of the procedure report to find out what kind of drug they had given me. That's when I found out about the Versed. After researching it on the internet I found out about the amnesia effect. Then my weird feelings after the colonoscopy started to make sense. I vowed to never have the drug given to me again. I complained about it to everyone who would listen and no one could understand why I was upset. For months and months I obsessed about it. Then I found out that I had to have surgery. I had assumed that I would be under general anesthesia, which I was, but they gave me Versed before I was wheeled to the OR. I had no idea that they used Versed before gen. anesthesia. So I went through the same weird obsessive feelings for several more months. That was 10 months ago. I still feel as if I've been mentally robbed. I was so glad to find other people who have the same feeling about Versed that I do. I was beginning to feel as if I was alone. This stuff used to be used primarily in pediatrics since 1986. Now that adults are getting it, and complaining, I wonder how many kids had it but with negative affects but weren't capable of voicing their neg. experiences.

I had an endoscopy. I was at Vanderbilt with a group of 15 or so others. They schedule them in groups I suppose to make it easier on the teams. Sort of an assembly line.

Anyway, I was the first one in, and the last one to wake up. I had a very hard time, they even had to go get my friend in the lobby to come and try to bring me out of it. Then I went to eat, and to a supermarket -- experiences I do not have any memory of.

For days I had trouble with my memory and, trusting the Vanderbilt medical system, had no clue I was given anything controversial. So I called the doctor and asked what I was given. They told me it was Versed. I Googled it and found lots of scary information. I knew I was not crazy, and now had the cause of my memory issues.

It is supposed to cause retrograde amnesia, right? But I have experienced anterograde (sp?) amnesia as well. It seems irreversible and I hate my doctor as a result for not informing me. I warn everyone about this drug, but most people "trust" modern medicine and it is a shame. I am contemplating having a light but noticeable tattoo put on my chest, inside elbows (where IV's go) and my back that says, "** In case of surgical or emergency procedure, highly allergic to all amnesiacs, DO NOT ADMINISTER VERSED OR OTHER AMNESIACS. ***"

Modern medicine has good and bad. This Versed chemical is bad bad bad. Sue your doctor if you can.

Forgot to mention the scary stuff. Since then I have had several problems with panic and anxiety, and one issue with an acute psychosis episode (my definition). It is frightening. I carry a strong anti-histamine with me now at all times that acts similar to Xanax to relax me when I feel extra anxiety.

Now, I have no idea if Versed caused that stuff, and wonder if the acute episode was caused by an excess of Serotonin created by trying a few too many milligrams of pharm-grade Tryptophan for sleep the night before. I read that Serotonin and LSD are structurally similar or chemically related or something like that. I had overdosed on LSD 25 years ago (only took it once, and it was last recreational drug experience of any kind for me), so the Serotonin overload could have triggered some old scary nuero-cobwebs locked in my brain somewhere. Who will ever know until we can better scan brains for thought process tracking and memory analysis. So I have avoided the Tryptophan and have been okay since that day.

But the memory trouble is still a huge issue. Funny, I can remember all this stuff. But, as most people here will probably repeat, it is not permanent memory failure from Versed damage, just memory dysfunction. A person can tell when they just can't do the same things they used to do. And I can tell when my memory is failing to work.

I am under 50, so this is most likely not age related.

There is no known overdose level for LSD.typically a bad experience is referred to as an "overdose" but in reality 3000 mcg dose can be a great experience and a 300 mcg dose can be a nightmare.the experience is influenced by your own feelings of guilt or blamelessness the way you were raised the state of mind at the time ,who you were with and what the setting or environment was,a rock concert with thousands of people or a campfire with 5 close friends.

There are a few of us who have an unofficial "Versed Survivors Club." If you go to you can find us.

I think a club would not only help those of us that are survivors and now have to live with problems because of this drug, but also it could also help those people like myself that were ignorant of the drug and believed the "happy clouds" explination of the drug that is fed to us by the professionals. I know on several other medical forums that I replyed to questions about the use of Versed, the medical experts are real quick to jump in and dispute anything negative that is said about their wonder drug. They don't want us messing up a good patient control drug that they have in their bag of tricks.

Just to let you know, I went through the same thing in re Versed. I went to askanexpert and asked why patients are being given this drug and outlined my displeasure with it. His answer was so sanctimonious it was disgusting. Not to mention trying every trick in the book to say that it just could NOT be the Versed! That Versed is a WONDERFUL drug. You can see the same thing in some of the posts here. It's amazing how much these people LOVE giving Versed to the point that if you say anything bad about it they go berserk!

I am a student in the medical field. The first time I researched versed, I was vacuuming th ecarpet and the word versed kept running through my mind. I must have heard it in a pharmacology class. I researched it and couldn't believe the things I read. I don't know what makes me more upset, honestly: The effects of the drug Versed, or the torture that is allowed w/ some of these invasive procedures! This was awhile back that I did my first research. This past few weeks, I have been spending time in the local hospitals doing clinical work. I think every day when I see charts such as colonoscopies and so on..."Oh, I hope you don't remember what you went through." It is best for these patients not to remember what they had to go through, but only because what they went through was so brutal! I will NEVER get a colonoscopy or endoscopy or any kind of invasive scope or probing procedure unless they can gaurantee IN WRITING that I won't be put on any type of medication that , as someone stated earlier, reduce my ability to resist. I just can't believe the focus seems to be more on the drug versed (which I agree should be banned) than the torture they allow during the procedure. If I were going to be tortured, i wouldn't want to remember it, however it scares me to death thinking I will ever be tortured and it damn sure doesn't make it OK to happen just because I won't (or may not) remember it. there are many who do remember the worst details. It honestly burns my stomach to think of it. I just don't know what else to say on this thread. (Not that I believe in aliens of course) but would anyone consent to be probed in the anus, colon, and esophagus by aliens, as long as they didn't remember? They make you THINK it's painless because they indeed rely on the fact that you won't remember. I'd say a better and more ethical thing to do is just go ahead and make it painless. I can care less about pain afterwards (although I'd want meds for that too,) but going through something where the parts of your brain that register pain work just fine, and the parts of your brain that affect your motor skills and ability to protest/fight/say no don't work at the time is just inhumane. I've mentioned this in class and it's almost as if the teachers elude the questions. Like they have become callused to it and in time I will so avoid the line of questioning because I may "realise that it's worth it if it gives you and extra 12 years to live." Well in my NOT so humble opinion, IT IS MY CHOICE TO DECIDE WHAT I AM WILLING TO ENDURE FOR A PROLONGED LIFE, NOT THAT OF SOME STRANGER!! And no matter what, I will NEVER forget this and I am an advocate of good pain control and so on. If someone can't get pain control because they can't afford it or insurance doesn't cover then TELL THEM THAT! Everything is about being cost effective it seems....that doesn't grant anyone to lie or hide details. They ruin your dignity by making you become more submissive than necessary. It is necessary to let us look at you naked and see parts that the average person wouldn't and examine closely and so on, that's bad enough. You have to endure that because it IS NECESSARY, but this drug versed and the shear torture WITHOUT BEING GIvEN OPTIONS OR BEING TOLD os NOT a necessary practice in my book. For god sakes there are so many threads on this type of thing, this isn't a democracy because nothing is being done. It just makes me sick, I have the same views as most of you, but to a deeper degree because I have to watch these procedures done repeatedly, know what....I just don't want to ramble, I've said me piece!

I hope that you are going to be a CRNA or an anesthesiologist. Let me know where you will be practising and I will go to YOU!!!

I wish your comments could be on a reputable page so I could use your comments durring my wife's civil trial against her doctor who used versed on her. He went so far as do his ERCP on her without informed consent and the versed use will be another nail in his coffin. he even went so far as to overdose her because I scolded him about not telling my wife what is wrong with her and putting a stent into her and not telling her. So he overdoed her and left her in a coma, which the nurses had to sneak the antidote to her without me or the doctor seein anyuthing. then rushing her out of the hospital before the doctor exited the procedure room.

go to and find us. There are a number of us who would be quite willing to get a notarized copy of our experiences to you.

I had to delete a variety of comments here which made personal references to other commenters, even some spelling flames. Ad hominem here will get deleted.

This thread was originally about Versed and torture, but it seems that it has attracted a lot of us folks who have had it used on us and are not happy about it.


Constant postings that don't add new information and are just to point to the same URL are not.

I find the comments here very interesting. Although I do not agree with all comments, they reveal a likely need for the medical community to add Versed to its list of ethical deliberations. Just like they have ethicists determining who should get a transplant, how about having ethicists for the use of Versed?

I believe that the medical community uses Versed for the benefit of the patient. Most of us would be very distressed to witness the procedures. Some medical procedures and diagnostics are necessary for saving lives. However, they can be very uncomfortable for a patient regarding modesty, blood, tissue etc. How many patients can "stomach" watching a surgeon cut into them? Many of us prefer not to know what was required of the procedure. I could never watch the use of a saw or drill to my knee. Arrgghh.

However, it is also possible that the use of Versed can benefit the medical community since any deviations from protocol will go unnoticed by the patient.

For me, I would choose on a case-by-case basis. I would ALWAYS choose Versed (plus local) over general. For oral surgery, I was glad to have Versed and wake up in the recovery room later. I did not want to remember the experience of the doctor pulling out my teeth. For hand surgery that I had a few days ago, I think (although I am not sure) I would like to experience all of it except the pain (which was a local anesthetic by injection like the dentist gives you). I think I maybe would have prefered something like "laughing gas" for my hand surgery.

I don't believe Versed should be off the market. I think it has its place in medicine. I propose that it be added to the ethical discussions in the medical community and that patients are given more information and choice about it.

As for its use in torture, I am going to have to weigh in on the side of "makes no sense." Versed usually causes people to sleep. I can see its use in espionage or spyland, but not torture. To get info, use a "truth serum."

Bravo your suggestion that the medical community add Versed to its list of ethical deliberations.

While I am sure there are plenty of well meaning doctors out there, there are also way too many who are not. I largely disagree, based on experience and that of numerous folks I have discussed this with since my own experience, that the medical community uses Versed for the benefit of the patient. We have already discussed the shady reasons they might have for giving you amnesia. But I swear, if I didn't know better, I'd say they were getting green stamps or flyer miles every time they use Versed!

The modesty argument is worth zero in my book. I can't see using drugs to calm any embarrassment or whatever I may feel. To me that's just ridiculous.

While I may not want to watch a saw cut into my knee, I can say with a lot of certainty it wouldn't bother me if it just didn't watch. This is clearly an individual thing.

I had two surgeries on my hand in the late '80's. I chose local and made out fine. It was interesting, although they would not let me watch. The second time, I even refused Fentanyl until some sensation got through the local. I allowed a student to watch the second surgery. Both times I made out fine and I would not change a thing.

Back to the original topic, yes, for torture Versed makes no sense.

The previous post ignores the fact that in the OR they generally (always?)use a surgical drape. This partitions the portion of the anatomy being worked on, with the excuse (for those of us who want to watch) that the surgical field might be contaminated by the patient watching. A little thin since they are all watching, why can't the patient have a surgical mask too, if we are not knocked out??? Anyway, you as a patient will not be allowed to watch the surgery, no matter what they give or don't give you. So once more Versed is not given for the patient at all is it?

If you look at's 1st definition of torture, you see this: 1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.........Now look at the 7th definition and you will see this: . to afflict with severe pain of body or mind: My back is torturing me.....the latter definition is the context I wanted to portray in my earlier (Med student) post. I don't believe the Physicians, use versed simply because they enjoy watching a pt in pain. Many times Versed is ALL a pt gets, the process is torture, believe me, I have seen many procedures. many of these pt's don't remember afterwards, are only remember bits and pieces thankfully. Yes, it is the versed that helps them to not remember, but the point I was making and others have tried to make as well, is this: Just eliminate the pain, don't give the pain and then an amnesiac to forget about it. The resources are there. Look at me....Versed would not work for someone like me, because I KNOW about the procedure and what the goal of Versed is! I may still experience the amnesia afterwards, but now you better go ahead and give me something for the tachycardia, nausea, depression and many other Sx I will have the week before the procedure. The anxiety would be OVERWHELMING for those that know anything about it. Now as soon as someone learns the truth about what happens, they are scared about knowing they will feel pain and not really be able to do much about it. Also, because you are sedated, screaming "NO" in the procedure doesn't get you anywhere. It may get you a little more Versed. The above reasons are WHY the doctors don't choose to thoroughly inform you.....If you ask me, it is robbing people of their rights. The Doctors choose not to tell you about it because they know the anxiety it will cause, so they tell you it will help to "relax" you, and it does, but you can gaurantee the pain is still there, whether or not you remember it! And I don't think withholding information from a patient to produce a better end result is the right route when you can just as easily give alternative medications that the pt can be completely informed about. That way, the pt is actually more involved in the plan of care and to me, that is the way to go. As far as I'm concerned, I don't want anything used on me if some of the details must be concealed for maximum effectiveness. You are not allowed to tell a blind patient to "open your mouth, here comes a bite of cake" when in reality you are about to spoonfeed them a bite of spinach, just because they need their green leafy vegetables....what is the difference? We also can't say "Just open your mouth, I am going to give you a bite of something that will make you feel better in the long run, I can't tell you much about it, and you may not like it when you taste it, but once it's in your mouth, I'm sure you'll get some of it down your throat and if you try to spit it out, I'm gonna go ahead and just force it down your throat!"

Over the past several years I've been unlucky enough experience several surgeries for cancer, knee injury, sinuses, and again the damn knee. In each of those surgeries Versed was administered as a pre-op medication while awaiting surgery. In the majority of patients the drug induces relaxation (reduce anxiety) and some a light unconcious state. If the drug induces retrograde amnesia, well, that's a nice plus for some folks but I don't believe that's predominate motivation for choosing/using Versed. I have a very high tolerance to most pain & anti-anxiety medications due to years of chronic pain therapy; therefore, Versed induces a need for a magazine to read while for the OR backlog to clear. And, I remember every boring minute until I was asked to count from 100 to .....

As "Tim" stated earlier, Versed seems to be the pre-operative drug of choice, green stamps and frequent flyer miles aside. The drug has a long history of use, proven to be relatively safe, few undesirable side effects, and minimal interaction with other drugs used in surgical procedures.

As a Navy Hospital Corpsman I had the opportunity to scrub-in for quite too many surgeries and in many of those cases we administered Versed like medications routinely and Ketamine as anesthesia in a couple instances. Although a side effect of these drugs is retrograde or anterograde(?) amnesia to some degree, inducing amnesia was not the drug's primary effect or motive for its administration. We preferred our patients to be a bit more compliant (unconcious) rather then deal with someone moving and screaming on the table, despite our knowing they wouldn't remember a thing!

I suspect that Versed may be a drug of choice for torture on a budget or an entry level novelist but there are much better tools being used by the serious professional which don't involve drugs and physical pain. And, why would the torturer care if the victim didn't remember the pain, etc? If the tortured remember the experience wouldn't they be more likely to give up information at just the threat of more torture? If I recall correctly, shortly after the Vietnam War the UCMJ was changed regarding witholding information from the enemy in face of torture. It seems that most secrets held by readily capturable individuals is of little actionable tactical or strategic value.

What is the reason for the use of torture? It is to gain access to information stored in somebody's brain that they are unwilling to divulge. (Unless you're a psycho) With this premise, it is indeed a wise choice to use Versed. Besides the amnesia aspect of Versed, there is an anti-conflict componant to it. With the use of Versed it would probably not be necessary to actually physically hurt the prospective torture client! The Versed will cause them to become very compliant and go along with the questioning. The amnesia will prevent them from knowing (and reporting) any answers (or pain)that may have been given, and in a perfect world, even the fact that they WERE questioned. So now you as the information gatherer have your information, no blood was shed and even if you did resort to violence, the prisoner will be unaware. Everybody is happy. Congress and the press are off your back and you can release the prisoner, who will be blissfully unaware that they have had their brain picked!

Indeed amnesia many times isn't the primary motivator in choosing weather or not to use versed. It is supposed to preduce sedation and relieve anxiety pre operatively and it's GREAT for this, when combined w/ the "good stuff" (anesthesia) you get right before the actual procedure starts. However, maybe you should check into the many different procedures in which versed is the ONLY thing used. Why do you think they choose not to use anything else?....I'll tell you why....for the same reason babies didn't use to get (and still sometimes don't) get ANY anesthetic before a circumcision, they won't remember it! (PS: it was once also thought by some that a baies nervous system wasn't developed enough to be able to feel it also) I always use colonoscopy as an example because most seem to be familiar w/ the procedure...NOTHING is given for pain at all....some Doctors will even tell you that the colon doesn't register pain, only pressure, and that the pain comes from the sensitivity of other areas. Does that matter?!! Not to me! Pain is pain and if I am to have a painful procedure done, I want pain medicine! I'll give you this: versed is nice for producing a sedation before breathing gas for 20 minutes, but when you give it credit for being a compliance issue,,, give me a break! That is saying it is for the STAFF benefit!! If i were to be given these choices: 1. More risk of side effects related to anesthesia or amnesia but still have the pain w/ procedure to make it easier on you, and possibly me getting in your way and hurting myself...... I'd still choose choice number one, even though I have sugar coated choice number two. Patients aren't given the choice, or the truth!!! THAT is the fact of the matter!

It appears that most of the comments on this topic are generated by patients whose concerns stemmed from a lack of patient-doctor communication. Patients undergoing a medical procedure such as an endoscopy or colonoscopy are screened by a doctor or nurse prior to the procedure (unless they are brought into the facility unconscious). The screening process includes being told about the steps taken before, during, and after the procedure and it is at this time when the patient should be told about any meds that will be administered. If you've signed the consent form without full knowledge of the medications involved and their possible side effects, then you have given your uninformed consent to undergo a medical procedure without communicating your concerns, wishes, and fears to the medical personnel. As with any medical procedure, there will always be a percentage of the population who react negatively to the medications. No doctor or nurse can unequivocally promise more than doing their best to alleviate possible pain/discomfort and minimize medical repercussions resulting from the procedure. We have a responsibility as consumers and patients to make sure that we are satisfied with our level of knowledge BEFORE we sign on the dotted line. I seriously doubt that the medical profession is attempting a coup on our memories, as so many of the posters on this thread imply. For those who are not completely anaesthetized during the procedure, consider that the reasons may be due to the idiosyncrasies of your anatomy, something the physicians can not always anticipate in advance.
I had my colonoscopy yesterday. I asked a lot of questions to ease my fear. I researched in advance as much as I could. During the procedure, I vaguely remember opening my eyes momentarily to see a colorful, wide-screen image of my innards on a screen and it was sci-fi, I tell you. My only regret was that I wasn't given the versed and fentanyl during my prep for the procedure. That's the part of the entire process I'd really like to forget! Those of you who are blowing steam about having their memories erased without their permission could have opted out of any memory-altering meds or gone with a general anaesthetic instead, had you thought to ask ahead of time. My advice to anyone undergoing any medical procedure is that when you are handed that clipboard with the consent form, you make sure you have your concerns addressed to your satisfaction before you sign on the dotted line. It is okay to ask about a physician's experience ahead of time. Talk to people about their own experiences. Read up on the latest developments. A little more knowledge gives you more ownership over your outcome. Maybe then, you'll be able to write more positive comments in a public forum such as this.

"We have a responsibility as consumers and patients to make sure that we are satisfied with our level of knowledge BEFORE we sign on the dotted line." I wholeheartedly agree, BUT what if we do so thinking we have been fully informed only to find out after it's too late that we have been misled, lied to, told half truths? And how do you know what to ask if you don't know what you don't know?

"I seriously doubt that the medical profession is attempting a coup on our memories, as so many of the posters on this thread imply." Then why don't they mention anything about the amnesia/immobility/inability to protest instead of 'just a little something to help you relax'.

"...having their memories erased without their permission could have opted out of any memory-altering meds" How? When we were not told! and thought we had been told the truth.

"you make sure you have your concerns addressed to your satisfaction before you sign on the dotted line" We unsuspectingly trust those in the medical community to tell us the whole truth, but I have learned they most certainly do not! I questioned and questioned and questioned and accepted the answers and only learned later after much on-line research what the truth was.

Well, Kay basically said what I was going to say. You've utterly missed the main points. In a nutshell, not only did I do my best to shake the truth from my anesthesiologist, it is perfectly clear in retrospect she pulled one over on me.

It clearly states that it is the medical providers job to reveal all to the patient, not the patient's duty to extract information from medical practicioners. Medical people are deliberately obfuscating the issue by infering that it is the patients fault for not knowing what they don't know. It's on YOU the drug slammer to tell the patient what the patient would consider necessary information, like amnesia and unnatural obedience. You guys are super careful not to disclose pertinant information because you know damn good and well that we patients would object if we were given all the facts.

Here is the thing....When you go to have your engine worked on, you have to trust that the mechanic knows what he is doing. If he doesn't tell you what your options are, you would have NO way of knowing what they are. If he doesn't tell you there ARE choices, you assume their aren't any. You cannot scrutinize his work if you know nothing about what he is going to do. You really couldn't argue what you think could have been done differently either, when something goes wrong, because you don't have the mechanical expertise or education. The same is true in the medical profession; You shouldn't be expected to become a doctor just to be sure you are getting adequate information about the procedures! Doctors are mechanics of the body. By the way, I am a nurse now (my first post was titled MED-STUDENT, then I posted w/ the title Clarification, then w/ the title Uses. Now I agree that if i were going to be given ANY med, I would WANT to read documentation (like in a pharm drug guide) but that information is limited. Trust me, meds are currently what I consider my specialty to be; there is information about some drugs that you can't find in just any book. You have to have a basic working knowledge to even be able to interpret a drug guide. I had about a week's worth of training on how to USE a drug guide (about 10 hours...2 hrs per pharm class x 5 days a week). I don't blame those who question and question and question. With that said, one may thoroughly find out all there is to know about the drug Versed, but they would have no way of knowing how to couple that with a line of questioning that includes the said medication's effects during a ceratin procedure. For eample....I may know that versed is a powerful anxiolytic, amnestic, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, skeletal muscle relaxant, all of the side effects, interactions, contraindication, and so on, but how do I know that it is the right drug for the procedure? I would have to know what other drugs are possibilities, and there are probably MANY possibilities, then I would have to research all of those, and then what if mixing several of the drugs is a possibility I might want to consider? How would I know which ones I could mix to produce the results I want? How do I know what results I want to achieve? I am not a doctor! All of this is assuming that a Doctor/Nurse will take 2 days to give me ALL of the necessary information to make a choice, and also assuming that I KNOW HOW to use a drug guide. Do ANY of you know the difference between an action and an interaction? A trade name versus a generic name? A contraindication vs indication? Some may, many don't. Doctors/Nurses don't have the time to give a mini-class on every single drug and procedure, granted. But I would hope that if I were a consumer, they would, AT MINIMUM, atleast tell me what kind of pain to expect and if this is my only option or if I have choices, and what the side effects are! There are people who work at Starbucks who take more time to help me pick out coffee, making $7-8/h then some of the Doctors I have seen in relation to helping a pt feel comfortable about a procedure or medication (and I have seen some Doctors who are so kind and wonderful about commiting as much time as necessary and giving ALL of the facts.) I am obviously against Versed imparticular, because this is a drug that seems to get particularly sugar-coated. I'd like to give one little piece of advice to any potential patients who are inquiring about options and side effects.....It seems as if the medical personnel doesn't hear closed-ended question as well as open-ended questions. Don't ask yes or no question when possible. Instead of saying, "are there other drugs to choose from that might help out more w/ pain or have less of an amnesiac effect?" This will get a simple yes or no, and may close any options for further elaboration or clarification if they choose to do that. Instead say "WHAT are my other options to help alleviate any possibilities of pain during this procedure?" or " I want to experience NO pain during this procedure, but I don't want something that will make me feel drunk, what can you give me." (Also assuming that they bothered to tell you what the drug will make you feel like, any drug, not just Versed) This will atleast help your communication with your Doctor and possibly elicit more of a response than a yes or no. If you feel uncomfortable w/ your doctor, go shopping if your insurance allows you to do so. You don't always have to take what you get the first time around. Lord knows I had to go through many, many car mechanics before finding one that I felt would really give it to me straight! Sometimes you have to go with instincts before you can trust someone, but unfortunately sometimes you don't get the chance. It's easier and more practical to research the background of the Doc/anesthetist than it is to research all of the meds/medical procedures, (and suggested that you try to do BOTH, to the best of your ability, as much as practical) I know this last part was a bit off topic, but I hope it will be allowed for the sake of good advice. I have not waivered on my feelings towards the USE of Versed.

Pure and simple, a drug like Versed is used to make a procedure like colonoscopy easy for the doctor doing the procedure by inducing AMNESIA..the patient is imobile, often conscious and in pain (unless adequate narcotic is given) and the so called "nurses" just stand around joking that the poor patient's distress doesn't matter because "they won't remember a thing".....unfortunately, a lot of people do remember this form of patient abuse. Just write on the consent form "NO VERSED".......if sedation is needed, get Propofol administered by anaesthesia...or better yet, just adequate pain meds such as fentanyl...........I'm in health care in a very responsible job and I have always thought that Versed was a good drug.......until I got some and read the many other comments about the terrible amnesia-related effects of this lousy drug.........only uninformed, uncaring and sloppy doctors would use this stuff for a procedure such as colonoscopy....they think that inducing Amnesia will give the colonoscopy experience "good press" least that's what the american gastro society website lists as one of the advantages of amnesia and conscious sedation.........I for one will tell every human being that I know that colonoscopy with Versed is TERRIBLE and I would never have another with this terrible drug.........

"they think that inducing Amnesia will give the colonoscopy experience "good press".. EXACTLY! That is what I was told!!! "We don't want you to remember so you will come back" (and presumably tell everyone what a piece of cake it was). It has to do with the doctor NOT the patient.

I was given versed too during a vericose vein laser removal in the doctors facility- they gave it to me orally, so I drank the solution and got drowsy. I became totally awake in the middle of the procedure. I couldn't breath, I was looking at the monitor sounding an alarm because the oxygen level was at 50. I was shaking and tears were running down my face, I couldn't even talk as the pain was so intense. They kept telling me to breath! Yeah right! The doctor said "we're almost done, let's just finish", so he continued to cut my leg and insert the laser up my vein and use this. After the procedure the doctor said "maybe you won't remember this", I said, yes I will, I can even tell you what you were talking about in the room" He knew what I went through and didn't even seem to care. He told my husband "I must be missing some receptors". I am crying again and shaking just typing this. I can hardly talk to anyone about this as I feel like I just relive it.

You poor thing! I went through something similar with Versed, which many of us have revealed here. It will get better, but it will probably take months for your brain to quit jangling and maybe years to get rid of the anger and the dread that somebody may slip you this drug again... Yet the doctors will tell you how marvy Versed is and what a good drug it is. It's sickening.

Years ago I was tortured and raped and was given other drugs and versed to make me forget. I now have my memories back and it isn't nice. I was hurt by some military people.

> "The only way to avoid them will be to work soon for strong laws and eventually an explicit constitutional amendment protecting the right of privacy in our thoughts. And that will be a long time coming."

That just a fantasy. It doesn't work.

Constitutional protections can work. They do decent jobs on free speech, freedom of religion and a few other things.

I woke up during a colonoscopy procedure. I cried and screamed for the doctor to stop but she only seemed angry and whacked my leg over because I was trying to climb off the gurney. I begged her to stop but she continued then walked out of the room. As far as I'm concerned I was held down and sodomized. If I can find a way to sue I will.

Many of you are acting like the medical profession as a whole is "out to get you." Like it gives them some sort of pleasure to be able to hurt people and be protected by the fact that their patients don't remember most of what happened. Is this really what you guys think about our nation's health care professionals? I truly am sorry that you had to endure a painful and traumatizing procedure. However, I feel like many of you are trying to make yourselves into victims just because you want to be able to blame the pain on SOMETHING or SOMEONE. I personally have never had versed, so maybe I have no right to be a part of this coversation. I have however, endured very painful sicknesses, injuries, and procedures in the emergency room, just as most people have. Many times in order to have something treated, you have to endure pain! That is just the nature of life. It isn't fun, but it's just the way it is. I'm not going to try to sue an ER doc just because I endured pain when he was setting my fractured arm. Sure it hurt, brought tears to my eyes, etc. But I was medicated with a narcotic, and the doctor (AND NURSES) were doing whatever they could to try to help me. This is the same philosophy you need to use when thinking about conscious sedation. These professionals (yes, they are professionals, not amateurs) are doing their best to help YOU with whatever health problem you may have. Research has shown that versed is a drug that helps achieve this goal most of the time. Are all drugs perfect? Of course not. Is it possible that sometime, during one of the many medical procedures most of us will have to endure in our lives, we might have to feel a little bit of pain? Of course it is. I am willing to live with this, given that the majority of doctors and nurses are doing the best they can. And yes, there are a few bad apples out there that give the profession a bad name. But this goes for any profession. We shouldn't just discredit the entire world of doctors just because we had a bad experience with one. You aren't going to stop washing your hands altogether just because one time the water was too hot and burned your hand a little bit. (maybe you should try to sue the manufacturers of the sink) So try to get some therapy regarding your traumatizing experience, tell the doctor you want general anesthesia next time you have a procedure like that (yes, they can do it under general anesthesia), and please stop trying to defame the whole medical profession just because you had a bad experience.

It doesn’t sound like you actually read all the entries from people unhappy about their Versed experience. It’s not so much about experiencing pain as not being given adequate pain relief when it is readily available because the medical staff has given Versed thinking you won’t remember being in pain so, to their way of thinking, it is OK to leave the patient in pain. BUT many many many do feel and remember every excruciating moment and that is not acceptable. Since when did amnesia become the standard of patient care? It is also about being lied to, tricked, and deceived into being given this drug. And yes, this seems to be a very widespread practice. Since when did that become considered patient care?
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