Sedation with dexmedetomidine in the intensive care setting
Anthony T Gerlach, Claire V Murphy
The Ohio State University Medical Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Abstract: Dexmedetomidine is an α-2 agonist that produces sedation and analgesia without compromising the respiratory drive. Use of dexmedetomidine as a sedative in the critically ill is associated with fewer opioid requirements compared with propofol and a similar time at goal sedation compared with benzodiazepines. Dexmedetomidine may produce negative hemodynamic effects including lower mean heart rates and potentially more bradycardia than other sedatives used in the critically ill. Recent studies have demonstrated that dexmedetomidine is safe at higher dosages, but more studies are needed to determine whether the efficacy of dexmedetomidine is dose dependent. In addition, further research is required to define dexmedetomidine's role in the care of delirious critically ill patients, as many, but not all, studies have indicated favorable outcomes.
Keywords: dexmedetomidine, sedation, critical care
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