ASA Supports DEA Proposal to Schedule Propofol

Washington D.C. — (November 1, 2010) 

The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) supports The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) proposal to place the commonly used anesthetic drug propofol into schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). ASA hopes that the tighter controls and monitoring that accompany scheduling will reduce the potential for abuse, although ASA members recognize that such action will not completely prevent all problems associated with the misuse of propofol.
All patients and health care providers need to be aware of the powerful anesthetic effects of propofol, understand the risks, and recognize the potential for abuse. As with the administration of any powerful anesthetic agent, intense vigilance is required. ASA policy clearly states that propofol should be used only in a controlled and monitored medical setting, by health care professionals qualified to administer general anesthesia and rescue patients, should problems arise. 
Patients who have questions about propofol or their anesthesia prior to any surgery or a procedure should request a preoperative discussion with an anesthesiologist, the physician most qualified to provide and supervise the administration of any anesthetic. 
ASA will continue to work collaboratively with the DEA and other federal agencies, to ensure that any policies and regulations enacted achieve the highest level of safety for patients and providers alike.


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2014.



American Society of Anesthesiologists