Best Evidence-Based Dosing Recommendations for Dexmedetomidine for Premedication and Procedural Sedation in Pediatrics: Outcome of a Risk-Benefit Analysis By the Dutch Pediatric Formulary

Jolien J.M. Freriksen*, Tjitske M. van der Zanden, Inge G.A. Holsappel, Bouwe Molenbuur, Saskia N. de Wildt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Dexmedetomidine is currently off-label for use in pediatric clinical care worldwide. Nevertheless, it is frequently prescribed to pediatric patients as premedication prior to induction of anesthesia or for procedural sedation. There is ample literature on the pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety of dexmedetomidine in this vulnerable patient population, but there is a general lack of consensus on dosing. In this project, we aimed to use the standardized workflow of the Dutch Pediatric Formulary to establish best evidence-based pediatric dosing guidelines for dexmedetomidine as premedication and for procedural sedation. Method: The available literature on dexmedetomidine in pediatrics was reviewed in order to address the following three questions: (1) What is the right dose? (2) What is known about efficacy? (3) What is known about safety? Relevant literature was compiled into a risk–benefit analysis document. A team of clinical experts critically appraised the analysis and the proposed dosing recommendations. Results: Dexmedetomidine is most commonly administered via the intravenous or intranasal route. Clearance is age dependent, warranting higher doses in infants to reach similar exposure as in adults. Dexmedetomidine use results in satisfactory sedation at parent separation, adequate sedation and a favorable recovery profile. The safety profile is good and comparable to adults, with dose-related hemodynamic effects. Conclusion: Following the structured approach of the Dutch Pediatric Formulary, best evidence-based dosing recommendations were proposed for dexmedetomidine, used as premedication prior to induction of anesthesia (intranasal dose) and for procedural sedation (intranasal and intravenous dose) in pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Drugs
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

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