Dexmedetomidine: An Adjuvant Making Large Inroads into Clinical Practice

Author(s): Bajwa SJ, Kulshrestha A

The introduction of newer more selective α−2 adrenergic agonist, dexmedetomidine has made a revolution in the field of anesthesia owing to its varied application. The aim of the current review is to highlight the various clinical and pharmacological aspects of dexmedetomidine in daily routine practice of anesthesiology and intensive care besides its potential role in other clinical specialties. This review of dexmedetomidine was carried out after searching the medical literature in Pubmed, Science direct, Scopus, Google scholar and various text books and journal articles using keywords anesthesia, dexmedetomidine, neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, regional dexmedetomidine, anesthesia, regional, neurosurgery, and pediatric surgery. Dexmedetomidine has made its application from a novel sedating agent in the intensive care unit to its use as an adjuvant in various regional anesthetic techniques because of its “cooperative sedation” without any respiratory depression. It has a favorable pharmacokinetic profile suitable to be used in the perioperative period to reduce the requirements of opioids and anesthetic drugs. There are few side‑effects of dexmedetomidine, which should always be kept in mind before choosing the patients for its use. The various side‑effects associated with dexmedetomidine include, but are not limited to hypotension, bradycardia, worsening of heart block, dry mouth, and nausea. However, large scale randomized controlled trials are still needed to establish various effects of dexmedetomidine and to clearly define its safety profile.


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