Revista de Anestesiología e Investigación del Dolor

Dexmedetomidine: A Pain Medication


Khuong Lahn

Dexmedetomidine is a strong 2-adrenoceptor agonist with an affinity for the receptor that is 8 times greater than clonidine. After intravenous treatment to healthy volunteers or postsurgical patients in the intensive care unit, dexmedetomidine exerts sedative, analgesic, and anxiolytic effects. In postsurgical patients, dexmedetomidine caused a predicted haemodynamic drop (dose-dependently lower arterial blood pressure and heart rate), which coincided with lower plasma catecholamin levels. Dexmedetomidine 0.2 to 0.7 g/kg/h generated clinically effective sedation and greatly reduced analgesic requirements in postsurgical ventilated critical care unit patients in phase III clinical trials. After the assisted ventilator was turned off, there was no clinically noticeable respiratory depression. Dexmedetomidine (Precedex) is a selective a2-adrenergic receptor agonist that is a pharmacologically active dextroisomer of medetomidine. In the United States, it is approved for the sedation of mechanically ventilated adult patients in an intensive care unit, as well as non-intubated adult patients before to and/or during surgical and other procedures.

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