The need to reduce the dose of intravenous anesthetic in the setting of hemorrhagic shock is a well-established clinical dogma. Considered collectively,; the body of information concerning the behavior of intravenous anesthetics during hemorrhagic shock, drawn from animal and human data, confirms that clinical dogma and informs the rational selection and administration of intravenous anesthetics in the setting of hemorrhagic shock. The physiologic changes during hemorrhagic shock can alter pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of intravenous anesthetics. Decreased size of the central compartment and central clearance caused by shock physiology lead to an altered dose-concentration relationship. For most agents and adjuncts, shock leads to substantially higher concentrations and increased effect. The notable exception is etomidate, which has relatively unchanged pharmacokinetics during shock. Increased concentrations lead to increased primary effect as well as increased side effects, notably cardiovascular effects. Pharmacokinetic changes are essentially reversed for all agents by fluid resuscitation. Propofol is unique among agents in that, in addition to the pharmacokinetic changes, it exhibits increased potency during shock. The pharmacodynamic changes of propofol persist despite fluid resuscitation. The persistence of these pharmacodynamic changes during shock is unlikely to be due to increased endogenous opiates, but is most likely due to increased fraction of unbound propofol. The stage of shock also appears to influence the pharmacologic changes. The changes are more rapid and pronounced as shock physiology progresses to the uncompensated stage. Although scant, human data corroborate the findings of animal studies. Both the animal and human data inform the rational selection and administration of intravenous anesthetics in the setting of hemorrhagic shock. The well-entrenched clinical dogma that etomidate is a preferred induction agent in patients experiencing hemorrhagic shock is firmly supported by the evidence. Propofol is a poor choice for induction or maintenance of anesthesia in severely bleeding patients, even with resuscitation; this can include emergent trauma cases or scheduled cases that routinely have mild or moderate blood loss.