Propofol has probably the commonly used intravenous anesthetic and is most frequently used for the induction of anesthesia. Like most intravenous anesthetics, Propofol works by increasing GABA-mediated inhibatory tone in the CNS. Propofol decreases the rate of dissociation of the GABA from the receptor, thereby increasing the duration of the GABA-activated opening of the chloride channel with resulting hyperpolarization of cell membranes. At supraclinical concentrations, it may directly activate the receptor’s chloride channel.
G Trapani, C Altomare, G Liso, E Sanna, G Biggio Propofol in anesthesia. Mechanism of action, structure-activity relationships, and drug delivery. Curr. Med. Chem.: 2000, 7(2);249-71