Outline the mechanism of action of drugs used to control raised intracranial pressure.

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College Answer

The answers to this question were generally not broad enough. Only one or two drugs were
discussed rather than the range of drugs used in this situation. Discussion should have included benzodiazepines, intravenous induction agents, opioid narcotics, diuretics including
loop diuretics and mannitol. Hypertonic saline also gained marks. Generally the discussions
on the drugs mentioned were done well.
Some candidates discussed the physiological control of intracranial pressure which was not
required and gained no marks.