Dechra has launched Dormazolam (midazolam (5mg/ml), the first and only equine benzodiazepine licensed for the intravenous co-induction of anaesthesia in horses1.

The company says Dormazolam works in synergy with other induction agents to provide an extended duration of anaesthesia without adversely affecting the quality of recovery 2,3,5.

Benzodiazepines are commonly incorporated into anaesthetic regimens to alleviate issues seen with the administration to ketamine alone2,3,4, including inadequate muscle relaxation2,3,4, anaesthesia not lasting long enough2 and induction failure2.

Despite the issues caused by the sole use of ketamine, it remains the primary anaesthetic induction agent of choice for more than 90% of equine vets2.

Dechra Brand Manager Emma Jennings said: “Using Dormazolam as part of an equine anaesthesia protocol will give optimal general anaesthetic conditions every time, including a rapid onset of action1.

"Anaesthetic co-induction with ketamine and midazolam has been shown to provide a superior quality of anaesthesia compared to ketamine alone3 and midazolam is equally as effective as diazepam when used as a co-induction agent alongside ketamine4. It also cuts down on the number of ketamine ‘top-up’ doses required compared to using ketamine3 alone.

"Additional benefits include no clinically significant differences in cardiopulmonary function1 or recovery times1 between midazolam and diazepam and it can be mixed in the same syringe as ketamine for ease of use4.”

Emma added: “The introduction of Dormazolam provides an exciting new option for equine vets. It delivers enhanced anaesthetic and surgical conditions by improving anaesthetic induction quality2,3,4 and giving better surgical relaxation scores2,3,4. It also reduces involuntary movements because, as a co-induction agent, midazolam only causes minimal cardiovascular and pulmonary depression2,4.”

Dormazolam is available in a 20 ml vial. It has a shelf life of four years and a broached shelf life of 28 days.

For more information, visit:


  1. Dormazolam. SPC, Dechra Veterinary Products.
  2. Hubbell, J.A.E. (2013) ‘How to produce twenty minutes of equine anesthesia in the field’ AAEP Proc; 59; pp. 469- 471.
  3. Allison, A; Robinson, R; Jolliffe, C. and Taylor, P. (2018) ‘Evaluation of the use of midazolam as a co-induction agent with ketamine for anaesthesia in sedated ponies undergoing field castration’ Equine Vet. J. 50; pp. 321-326.
  4. de Vries, A; Thompson, S. and Taylor, P. (2015) ‘Comparison of midazolam and diazepam as co-induction agents with ketamine for anaesthesia in sedated ponies undergoing field castration’ VAA 42; pp. 512-517.
  5. Seahorn, J. Proc. from 102nd Kentucky Medical Association Conference.

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