International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 150–154 | Cite as

Efficacy and safety of dexmedetomidine versus morphine in post-operative cardiac surgery patients

  • Noorizan Abd. AzizEmail author
  • Mui Ching Chue
  • Chow Yen Yong
  • Yahaya Hassan
  • Ahmed Awaisu
  • Jahizah Hassan
  • Mohd. Hamzah Kamarulzaman
Short Research Report


Objective To compare the efficacy of dexmedetomidine versus morphine as a sedative/analgesic among post-operative cardiac surgery patients. Method A randomized controlled open-label study was performed at the cardiothoracic intensive care unit of Penang Hospital, Malaysia. A total of 28 patients who underwent cardiac surgeries were randomly assigned to receive either dexmedetomidine or morphine. Both groups were similar in terms of preoperative baseline characteristics. Efficacy measures included sedation scores and pain intensity and requirements for additional sedative/analgesic. Mean heart rate and arterial blood pressure were used as safety measures. Other measures were additional inotropes, extubation time and other concurrent medications. Results The mean dose of dexmedetomidine infused was 0.12 [SD 0.03] μg kg−1 h−1, while that of morphine was 13.2 [SD 5.84] μg kg−1 h−1. Dexmedetomidine group showed more benefits in sedation and pain levels, additional sedative/analgesic requirements, and extubation time. No significant differences between the two groups for the outcome measures, except heart rate, which was significantly lower in the dexmedetomidine group. Conclusion This preliminary study suggests that dexmedetomidine was at least comparable to morphine in terms of efficacy and safety among cardiac surgery patients. Further studies with larger samples are recommended in order to determine the significant effects of the outcome measures.


Dexmedetomidine Efficacy Morphine Post-cardiac surgery Safety Sedative/analgesic 



We thank to Assoc. Prof Dr. Mohd Baidi Bahari, Sister Ramlah Abas and all the surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses at the CICU of Penang Hospital.



Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noorizan Abd. Aziz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mui Ching Chue
    • 1
  • Chow Yen Yong
    • 2
  • Yahaya Hassan
    • 1
  • Ahmed Awaisu
    • 1
  • Jahizah Hassan
    • 2
  • Mohd. Hamzah Kamarulzaman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PharmacySchool of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive CareHospital Pulau PinangPenangMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryHospital Pulau PinangPenangMalaysia

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