Dexmedetomidine is a central α2-agonist (α21 activity 1600:1) used for its sedation and analgesic properties.

Property Action
Class Imidazole derivative
Pharmaceutics D-stereoisomer of medetomidine (the L-stereoisomer is inactive)
Uses Sedation without respiratory depression
Presentation Clear colourless solution at 10µ
Route of Administration IV only
Dosing 0.2-0.7µ
Distribution 95% protein bound
Metabolism Hepatic to inactive metabolites
Elimination Renal of metabolites, t1/2β of 2 hours
CVS Initial transient ↑ SVR and BP due to α1 effects, followed by ↓ MAP, ↓ HR.

Rebound ↑ BP when abruptly ceased.
CNS Sedation, anxiolysis at low dose (anxiogenic at high dose), amnesia. ↓ MAC.

↓ SNS outflow.


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  2. Smith S, Scarth E, Sasada M. Drugs in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. 4th Ed. Oxford University Press. 2011.
  3. Petkov V. Essential Pharmacology For The ANZCA Primary Examination. Vesselin Petkov. 2012.
Last updated 2017-09-16

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