Generic Name: flumazenil
Product Name: Anexate
Indication: What Anexate is used for
Anexate is used to reverse benzodiazepine overdose, both suspected and known.
It is given to arouse people after surgery or benzodiazepine overdose.
Your doctor may have prescribed Anexate for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions why Anexate has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Action: How Anexate works
Anexate, an imidazobenzodiazepine, is a benzodiazepine antagonist which specifically blocks the central effects of agents acting through the benzodiazepine receptor by competitive inhibition.
Anexate reverses the central sedative effects of benzodiazepines.
The hypnotic-sedative benzodiazepine effects are rapidly reversed by Anexate after its intravenous injection (1-2 minutes) and may reappear gradually within the next few hours, depending on the half-life and dose ratio of the agonist and antagonist.
Anexate is well tolerated even in high doses.
Anexate may possess some weak intrinsic agonistic (e.g. anticonvulsant) activity.
Each 5 mL Anexate ampoule contains 0.5 mg flumazenil as the active ingredient.
It also contains disodium edetate, glacial acetic acid (260), sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, water for injections.
This medicine does not contain gluten, lactose, sucrose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
Dose advice: How to use Anexate
Before you are given Anexate
When you must not be given it
Do not use Anexate if:
- You have had an allergic reaction to Anexate or any of the ingredients listed here;
- You are taking a benzodiazepine for control of a potentially life-threatening condition.
Before you are given it
Your doctor must know about all the following before you are given Anexate.
You must tell your doctor if:
- You are allergic to any other medicines or any other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes;
- You suffer from epilepsy;
- You have severe liver disease;
- You suffer from panic disorder;
- You have been taking high doses of benzodiazepines and /or you have been taking benzodiazepines for a long time.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given Anexate.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you have bought from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Anexate or affect how well it works. These medicines include:
- Benzodiazepines e.g. diazepam, (Valium), bromazepam (Lexotan), temazepam (Temaze, Normison) etc.;
How Anexate is given
Anexate is given as an injection into a vein. Anexate must only be given by an anaesthetist or experienced physician.
Your doctor will decide what dose of Anexate you will receive. This depends on your condition.
Usually only a single dose of Anexate is required.
While you are using Anexate
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Anexate affects you.
This medicine may cause drowsiness or dizziness in some people. This can be due to the possibility of resedation within the first 24 hours after administration of Anexate.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Be careful if you are elderly, unwell or taking other medicines.
Some people may experience side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, dizziness and unsteadiness in the first 24 hours after administration which may increase the risk of a fall.
There is also a possibility of other benzodiazepine effects such as difficulty in breathing, within the first 24 hours after administration.
After using Anexate
Anexate will be stored in the pharmacy or on the ward. It is kept in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Schedule of Anexate
Anexate is Schedule 4 – Prescription Only Medicine
Side effects of Anexate
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well after you have been given Anexate.
Anexate helps most people who experience an overdose with benzodiazepine medicines but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Nausea with or without vomiting;
- Dizziness, lightheadedness;
- Feeling anxious or fearful;
- Rapid or irregular heart beat;
- Depression, tearfulness with or without agitation;
- Allergic reactions, including sudden life threatening allergic reactions. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.
These may be related to the reversal of anaesthetic.
For further information talk to your doctor.
- Anexate Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Gordon, NSW: Pharmaco (Australia) Ltd. March 2017. [PDF]
- Anexate Product Information (PI). Gordon, NSW: Pharmaco (Australia) Ltd. March 2017. [PDF]