Remember that there are two “Neos”

Remember that there are two “Neos”

Nancy Sokal Hagerman MD

In our current culture of patient safety, it is important to avoid commonly used medical abbreviations so that medical errors can be prevented. For example, the term neo is often used in the operating room and intensive care unit (ICU) to refer to the drug Neo-Synephrine; however, it could also reasonably be interpreted as neostigmine, another commonly used drug in the operating room and ICU. To avoid this confusion and to decrease the risk of a medication error, the use of the brand name Neo-Synephrine should be abandoned.


Neo-Synephrine is the trade name for phenylephrine. It is a pure alpha receptor agonist and has both venous and arterial constrictive effects. BecauseΑ1 receptors have been discovered in the myocardium, it is also possible that it has positive inotropic effects. Acutely, phenylephrine causes an increase in venous return (preload) due to its venous constrictive effects; it increases after load as well. In normal individuals, it does not affect cardiac output. However, in patients with ischemic heart disease, it can decrease cardiac output. Other uses for phenylephrine include reversing right-to-left shunt flow in patients with tetralogy of Fallot and terminating supraventricular tachycardias (SVTs) as it can cause reflex vagal stimulation in response to elevated blood pressure. In this last circumstance, phenylephrine is particularly useful as it treats both the arrhythmia and the hypotension.

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Jul 1, 2016 | Posted by in ANESTHESIA | Comments Off on Remember that there are two “Neos”

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