Sedation and Throat Spray Sedation at Gastroscopy

Went in for a gastroscopy (a year earlier than planned due to having problems with my Barretts Oesophagus). The doctor doing the endoscopy injected me with 3mg of sedation along with 100mg of throat spray (which made me gag due to the taste and made my throat have a burning sensation). At the time I did say I usually only have the 3mg of sedation injected into the canular but still carried on giving me the throat spary. Afterwards felt really out of it and it took another day to get the sedation to go but have been left with a bad cough and my voice keeps going croaky. Biopsies were taken from my Barretts cells and also biopsies were taken from my stomach (suspected h pylori). I don't think the throat spray should have been given to me and how can I stop this from happening when I am due again to have a gastroscopy. Has anyone else had a problem with the throat spray?

12 Replies

  • Hi

    I am sorry to hear you have had such a hard time since your gastroscopy. I have had several endoscopies, excuse my ignornace, but I am assuming they are the same or similar sort of procedure. Before each one I was asked how I wanted to proceed. I always opt for the sedation given via a canula in my hand. I have been offered the thraot spray but I declined. I think you should speak to your clinician and stress the problems you have had and also that you want to be in control of the treatment you are given. In my experience the surgical team want to cause as little stress as possible, so dont be afraid to say what you want.

    I hope you are beginning to feel better and continue to do so

    Best wishes


  • Thanks Edwina. I have to go in for a barium x-ray this week and then to see the consultant for the results - I will tell him that in future all I want is the sedation in the canula.

  • Sorry to hear of the problem with the throat spray.

    Tell the endoscopist about your reaction next time so you don't get it again.

    For me, I have the alternative problem that sedation doesn't work. Even when I've had a double dose, it's as if I haven't. So when I have "tried again" with sedation, I've been glad they have given me throat spray as well.


  • Hi

    Like Chris the sedation I was given didn't work. I had two endoscopies

    with only throat spray and found them very uncomfortable. For the third one I opted for sedation but felt no benefit whatsoever and interestingly neither did a fellow patient who I chatted to during the two hour recovery period. It is reassuring to know there are others who could not feel any effects of sedation but a little worrying as to why there should be this gamble. I certainly dread any suggestion of further endoscopies and envy those who tell me that they have virtually no recollection of the procedure.

    Having said that I believe a great deal depends on who carries out the endoscopy and how both the spray is administered and the procedure is carried out.

    I suppose the only consolation is all these things are done for our benefit .

    Best wishes to all who have to go through these necessary procedures.

  • I agree it depends on who does the endoscopy. My scope 3 years ago was performed by a nurse specialist I had known a few years. He was very good. My last one, a year ago, was performed by a locum on a Saturday, rushing through a list - the most uncomfortable ever!

  • At my first endoscopy I first of all opted for the throat spray because for a particular reason I wanted to speak to the surgeon first. I was frightened of the process and the possibility of it creating a tear in my oesophagus. After reassuring me, the surgeon asked why I was not having the sedative, and advised me to do so. So they put the canula in, did not use the spray, and I did not feel any adverse effects at all. Since then I have always suggested that people do have the sedative, and have the impression that some hospitals might try and avoid using them first time round unless specifically asked by the patient.

    It is interesting that sedatives do not work for some people. I wonder if it is the particular medication involved (sedative and indeed the throat spray)? If we are so different in our reactions, the logic is that, as Chris says, we should be treated as individuals.

  • I've had several endoscopies and only have the throat spray and have had no reactions. I prefer not to be sedated so I can go home straight away and also know what is happening during the proceedure. The throat spray has a foul taste and can make you gag as does the the endoscopy itself! Certainly worth having to endure a little discomfort as it has saved my life.

  • Hi - I opted for the sedation and didn't know a lot about it until the very last moment and was told the discomfort was when they were taking samples - later when I had the camera thru the naval I was given both spray and sedative and never felt a thing so would go for that every time.

    My wife had the opposite experience when having an endoscopy for barretts - she opted for the sedative but complained it was not working but the doctor said she could not have any more sedative and pressed on regardless which was unpleasant to say the least - she was told that she could not have both spray and sedative at the same time.

    She wrote a letter of complaint and an appointment was made with the top man who said he would do the necessary follow up one himself and to trust him.

    She opted for the spray much to his surprise and though not very nice found it bearable that time.

    As with a previous reply it is for our benefit and though unpleasant a very necessary part of the diagnosis and treatment process.

  • I've been having six monthly endoscopys for some years and always opt for the throat spray. Yes the taste is unpleasent and can make you gag but i think it's worth a little unpleasentness to confirm whether you're clear or need a procedure.

  • I have had a number of endoscopies pre and post-op and always prefer sedation and throat spray (though it does taste awful and sometimes leads to gagging) and have been glad to have been sedated every time. However, there was one occasion at a different hospital and with a different doctor when the sedative had no affect whatsoever despite my request for more! It must be to do with different types of sedative as I've always been completely sleepy every other time.


  • I have had several endoscopies and have discovered that i have a reaction with the sedation in that my heart rate goes through the roof and have some difficulties breathing so now every time i have an endoscopy i have the throat spray which tastes a bit like bananas and a canula in the back of the hand and through that i have a stong painkiller called Fentanyl 100ug. Fentanyl is almost as stong as morphine. The only downside is though it deadens any pain during the procedure you are fully aware of what goes on and everything that is said by everyone in the room. My last endoscopy was a nightmare in that i had my jejunal feeding tube changed and the internal sopper got stuck in my throat and as i have said you are aware of everything so the stopper was stuck in my throat and a doctor had to manupulate my thorax to enable the endoscopy to bring out the stopper and unblock my throat. Then i was sick all over the pillow and this sick was yellow bile. Since then i have had a sore throat and very bad bile reflux 3-4 times every night. Please do not be put off having the endoscopy after reading this because after having the Fentanyl i was alowed to leave the unit once i satisfied the staff that i could swallow fluid. Sedatives are a no-no for me so to help with the endoscopy i have little chice but to use the Fentanyl with the throat spray.

  • I too have found that the sedation has little or no effect.

    Saw a lovely consultant just before I was diagnosed with cancer who said he would do it under a general but was worried that the waiting list would be too long so suggested that I asked for midazolan and fentanyl together. It worked for me and has done ever since as long as they put the camera in straight away. It is as if those first few minutes are the best time. I am vaguely aware still but not enough to fight with the endoscopist!

You may also like...