Minimal Sedation2017-08-31T03:11:17+08:00

What is Minimal Sedation/Anxiolysis?

Minimal or light sedation is the administration of small amounts of medication in order to deal with anxiety or agitation. The defining characteristic of minimal sedation is that the patient still appears relatively awake and is able to communicate clearly at all times.

Effects of Minimal Sedation/Anxiolysis

This kind of sedation can make a procedure that is otherwise difficult a little bit easier, and it is usually not sufficient for a significant procedure or painful intervention to occur.

Candidates for Minimal Sedation/Anxiolysis

Minimal sedation is for patients who need a little medication to be able to deal with their anxiety or agitation.

Your Consultation

Considerations before and during sedation include patient assessment, fasting and monitoring.

The Minimal Sedation/Anxiolysis Procedure

Minimal sedation is the administration of oral medications for the reduction of anxiety. During minimal sedation, you will be awake but relaxed. You will have slightly slowed movements, have normal respirations, normal eye movement and also intact protective reflexes. This is not anesthesia, and you will not need assisted breathing in this type of sedation.


After the procedure, you will be monitored until you show signs of being adequately recovered before you are allowed to leave. You will be given discharge instructions before leaving the center.


The common side effects during sedation are airway obstruction, apnoea and hypotension and it requires the presence of health professionals who are suitably trained to detect and manage these problems.


What is sedation?

Sedation is described as a depressed level of consciousness, which may vary from light to deep. At light levels or conscious sedation, the patient retains the ability present before sedation to independently maintain an airway and respond appropriately to verbal command. It is possible that the patient may have amnesia, and protective reflexes are normal or minimally altered.

What are the different levels of sedation?

Sedation scales are used in situations in conjunction with medical history to assess the degree of sedation in patients to avoid under-sedation (where the patient would experience pain or distress) and over-sedation (where the risk of side effects such as suppression of breathing might be fatal). Typically, the levels are agitation, calm, responsive to voice only, to shaking only, to pain only and no response.

What is anxiolysis?

Minimal sedation is equivalent to anxiolysis, that is, a drug-induced relief of apprehension with minimal effect on sensorium.

What is the patient’s state during minimal sedation?

During minimal sedation, the patient responds normally to verbal commands. It is possible that the cognitive function may be impaired, but the ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected.