Dexmedetomidine is an upcoming agent with sedative, anxiolytic, and analgesic properties. This review summarizes empirical evidence for the efficacy of dexmedetomidine as a sole sedative agent, and its effectiveness for small diagnostic and therapeutic procedure, in comparison with other frequently used sedatives. All randomized controlled trials on the effect of dexmedetomidine were reviewed. Pain level, patient satisfaction, operator satisfaction, procedure duration, recovery time, and hemodynamic and respiratory characteristics were examined. A total of 1993 patients (1,621 adults; 372 children) from 35 studies were included. In the adult studies, dexmedetomidine yielded significantly lower pain levels compared to the other sedatives (in 31.25% of the included studies) and significantly more patient satisfaction (68.2%). In studies on children, more favorable results concerning respiratory safety and the level of adequate sedation were found compared to the control sedatives. Implications for future studies are discussed.

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Pain Practice
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

ter Bruggen, F.F.J.A. (Feline F.J.A.), Eralp, I., Jansen, C.K. (Chris K.), Stronks, D., & Huygen, F. (2017). Efficacy of Dexmedetomidine as a Sole Sedative Agent in Small Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures: A Systematic Review. Pain Practice (Vol. 17, pp. 829–840). doi:10.1111/papr.12519