Propofol: a prescription sedative-hypnotic drug (brand name Diprivan) that is administered intravenously. Propofol is commonly used in the induction of general anesthesia and can be used both for the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. When administration of the drug is discontinued, it wears off rapidly, allowing the patient to awaken within a short time. Like other anesthetic agents, side effects of propofol can include respiratory depression. Propofol should only be administered in controlled settings in which ventilation support and monitoring of cardiovascular function are available.