oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Clinical application of dexmedetomidine : Registrar Communication prize entry

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Dexmedetomidine is a highly selective and potent alpha-adrenoreceptor (AR) agonist offering dose-dependent sedation, anxiolysis and analgesia. It is a relatively new drug, approved for sedation for up to 24 hours in mechanically ventilated post-cardiac surgery patients. Yet, because of its unique drug profile, it has been increasingly studied and used in various clinical settings, albeit off label, with promising results. The purpose of this review is to discuss dexmedetomidine in terms of its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and to focus on its various clinical applications. A PubMed search, using the keyword "dexmedetomidine", identified approximately 1,000 articles, the earliest being animal studies published in 1988.

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