Pros, Cons of Multimodal Anesthesia

June 30, 2018

The pros and cons of multimodal analgesia and anesthesia are often in the physiologic changes that occur.

"The pros and cons of multimodal analgesia and anesthesia are often in the physiologic changes that occur," Gregg M. Griffenhagen, DVM, MS, DACVAA, anesthesiologist and clinical instructor at Colorado State University.

"So, I can frame it in a different way. If I use a drug that causes respiratory depression, it's often dose dependent. So, if I have a patient where I'm concerned about that, I can then give them another drug to decrease the dose of both of those and decrease the amount of respiratory depression that happens.

Say I have a drug that's known for causing significant decreases in blood pressure, some patients will tolerate that—I can give it the pressure goes down the pressure comes back up again—some patients I can't. And so, the benefit there is that I can add another drug, different mechanism of action, but allows me to decrease the dose of the drug that does have a deleterious effect.

The downside to all of this of course is that it becomes complicated, and you could make it as complicated as you want or need, but in general it does become more complicated. Now I have to worry about 2 drugs or 3 drugs or 4 drugs sometimes with synergistic actions, but synergistic paperwork, right? Sometimes that becomes a problem. And so, if I can get there simpler, sometimes it's easier."