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Worried about Versad causing short term memory loss. Is Demerol given during colonoscopy?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1984
Answered : 913 Questions
I just turned 56. I'm going to have a colonoscopy in two weeks. I go next week for an exam and tests then will schedule the procedure.

I've done some reading about the drugs used during the procedure. I'm worried about the drug Versad that seems to be widely used. I've heard that it can/does affect short term memory and that you will not remember the procedure. People have written that it has caused problems with other memories. Some have said that pain is experienced during the procedure but that since they don't remember it it isn't a problem. There are other things along the same lines. It concerns me mainly that it will affect other memories.

Also, do they normally give a pain medicine like demerol as well as a sedative? Are there other options for the drugs? I don't think forgetting the procedure entirely sounds desirable.

Also, i take medication that causes me to have constipation at times. Usually once or twice a week. I think this might affect the prep before the procedure. I don't want them to postpone and have read that inadequate prep is a problem. Is there something that is done since I would think it could be a common problem.

I'm a little nervous about this whole thing. i'm also participating in a study where they will use a stool sample taken before the prep is started and use a new type of test. The results will be compared to the colonoscopy. i thought this might help someone in the future. It seemed worthwhile so is helping me go forward with the procedure. A bit of an added incentive. Does that sound selfish?

Yes I do intend to talk to the doctor at the initial exam but i'd like any information you could give me.

I've included medications I take below as well as notes from a previous question.

Thank you for your help. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX

1. Dose and dosage of the drugs you are taking
nuvigil 150mg 1 in morning, propranolol la 160mg 1 in morning, lamotrigine 25mg 1 in morning, ativan 1mg 1 in morning-1 in evening and another if needed, pristiq 100 mg 1 in morning, bupropion xl 300mg 1 in morning

2. Duration of depression and treatment

I’ve had depression and anxiety of and on since I was a teenager. Two years ago my new psychiatrist added welbutrin. I was much better for quite a while. About 4 months ago depression recurred and in the last 3 weeks has been severe.

Two years ago I also started seeing a therapist. He uses cognitive therapy.

3. Had you taken alcohol, cannabis or any substance at before the problem mentioned in your question

I don’t drink or use drugs other than as prescribed and never have.

4. Any history of head injury, high B.P, Diabetes or any other medical condition, past or current
I have high blood pressure that is controlled. I do have GERD. Also high tryglycerides i have just had a blood test and they are down from 800 to 400. The doctor has increased my medication. I had surgery to correct testicular tortion about 20 years ago.
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Ajit Naniksingh Kukreja 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

I appreciate the way you have detailed everything

We will consider all your queries individually

1. Regarding Versad the issue is not going to affect your other memories it is relatively safe

2. Demerol and sedatives help you accept the procedure as colonoscopy is a tedious procedure for the patient so no harm with these, we usually do it under a short general anaesthesia

3. As you said you are constipated because of some medicines, not a problem as the doctor will give. You a bowel cleanser which is good enough to prepare the colon for examination

4. Participating in a study helps lot of people in long run so go ahead but do understand the probable risks involved in the study, so it has no selfish motive

5. You should discuss the issues with you doctor in detail

6. You can continue your medicines they should not interact with any medicine during colonoscopy

7. Change your attitude towards life and continue cognitive therapy add meditation and your depression should go away

8. Do avoid cannabis etc. as they will add to constipation and have a rebound effect on depression

9. The existing medical conditions and previous surgery should not be an issue

Only advice is discuss all these with your investigator for the study before you give consent

Hope I have replied to your satisfaction, if there are no other queries do accept my reply

Wishing you a healthy life ahead
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