Background: Psychotropic medications are being used increasingly as analgesics and
for other off-label indications for patients with and without psychiatric conditions. While the
pharmacology of most of these drugs is now known, their interaction with anesthetic drugs and
implications of regular use are still relatively unclear.
Objective: We discuss the pharmacology, side effects, and potential medication interactions
with anesthetic agents of various commonly prescribed psychotropic medications and the current
recommendations regarding the continuation of these medications during the patients’ perioperative
Method: A review of the current literature present on PubMed and Medline was conducted between
the years 2000-2016. The reference lists of each selected article were also reviewed for additional
sources of information.
Conclusion: Psychotropic medications can be broadly divided into classes, which include antidepressants,
antipsychotics, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, and stimulants. Although most evidence
suggests the continuation of these medications in the perioperative period, it is still important to
determine how psychotropic medications interact with routinely used anesthetic agents and which
medications should be continued and which should not be continued on an individualized basis for