▴ Dexmedetomidine is a potent α2-adrenoceptor agonist with 8 times higher affinity for the α2-adrenoceptorthan clonidine.
▴ Dexmedetomidine has shown sedative, analgesic and anxiolytic effects after intravenous administration to healthy volunteers or postsurgical patients in the intensive care unit.
▴ Dexmedetomidine produced a predictable haemo-dynamic decline (dose-dependently decreased arterial blood pressure and heart rate) in postsurgical patients coinciding with reductions in plasma catecholamines.
▴ In phase III clinical trials, dexmedetomidine 0.2 to 0.7 µg/kg/h produced clinically effective sedation and significantly reduced the analgesic requirements of postsurgical ventilated intensive care unit patients. There was no clinically apparent respiratory depression after cessation of assisted ventilation.
▴ Dexmedetomidine produced rapid and stable sedation in postsurgical ventilated patients while maintaining a high degree of patient reusability and anxiety reduction.
▴ Dexmedetomidine was well tolerated in phase III studies. The most frequently observed adverse events were hypotension, bradycardia and nausea.
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