Propofol is used as a generic name. Propofol is available as Diprivan, as a prescription of an injectable drug. Propofol (Diprivan) works by slowing the activity of the patient's brain and central nervous system. Propofol is used for relaxing the patient before and during the application of general anesthesia in surgery or other similar medical procedures. Propofol is also used for critically ill patients in helping them breath with a tube joined to a ventilator machine.