Propofol was first developed in 1977. It is a phenolic compound unrelated to barbiturates or steroid anesthetics. The propofol formulation contains soybean oil and egg lecithin and, in veterinary medicine, there are two products: one formulated without preservative and one formulated with preservative (i.e. PropoFlo 28™ containing benzyl alcohol; Zoetis). Due to its organic content, propofol without preservative can support bacterial growth if aseptic conditions are not maintained.
In cats, consecutive day propofol administration is controversial because it can lead to toxic effects including Heinz body formation, anorexia, diarrhea and malaise40.
Propofol provides a rapid, smooth induction and recovery. It is considered a sedative-hypnotic without an analgesic effect. Therefore appropriate analgesia should be administered in the presence of pain. Its primary clinical side effects include hypotension by means of vasodilation and apnea when administered quickly41.