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Intravenous clonidine infusion in critically ill children: dose-dependent sedative effects and cardiovascular stability

Journal title
British journal of anaesthesia
Publication year
Ambrose, C.; Sale, S.; Howells, R.; Bevan, C.; Jenkins, I.; Weir, P.; Murphy, P.; Wolf, A.

Clonidine is used for analgesia and sedation in paediatric anaesthesia, but there are no data on its sedative properties and side effects in critically ill children. We studied 30 ventilated children aged 10 yr and under to determine an effective i.v. dosing range and to assess its cardiovascular effects. Twenty non-paralysed, ventilated children were given a background infusion of midazolam 50 micrograms kg-1 h-1 combined with a variable clonidine infusion (0.1-2 micrograms kg-1 h-1) to maintain optimal sedation. The effects of clonidine 1 microgram kg-1 h-1 on cardiac index were measured in 10 postoperative cardiac patients using a reverse Fick method. Dose-dependent sedation was achievable (713 out of 861 h) without cardiovascular side effects, but an infusion limit of clonidine 1 microgram kg-1 h-1 was inadequate in two patients. An increased dose limit of 2 micrograms kg-1 h-1 combined with midazolam 50 micrograms kg-1 h-1 achieved satisfactory sedation scores for 602 out of a total of 672 h studied with no failures. Clonidine in combination with midazolam at 1 microgram kg-1 h-1 was not associated with significant changes in heart rate arterial pressure or cardiac index.

Research abstracts