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Paediatr Anaesth. 2006 May;16(5):554-9.

Clonidine for the prevention of emergence agitation in young children: efficacy and recovery profile.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0211, USA. smalviya@umich.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Emergence agitation (EA) is a common postoperative problem in young children who have received sevoflurane and isoflurane for general anesthesia. This randomized, double-blinded study evaluated the efficacy of intraoperative clonidine in reducing EA, and describes its recovery profile.

METHODS:

With Institutional Review Board approval and informed consent, children undergoing brief, minimally painful procedures were studied. All children received preemptive analgesia with acetaminophen and ketorolac, sevoflurane for induction, and isoflurane for maintenance of anesthesia. Children received either 2 microg.kg(-1) clonidine or placebo intravenously (i.v.) following induction of anesthesia. Children were observed postoperatively for behavior and side effects, and their parents were telephoned the next day to determine postdischarge recovery characteristics.

RESULTS:

One hundred and twenty children were included in this study: 59 of whom received clonidine, and 61 placebo; 41% of those in the placebo group exhibited moderate-severe EA compared with only 22% of those in the clonidine group (P < 0.03). Compared with those who received placebo, children who received clonidine awakened more slowly (22 min vs 14 min), had a longer postanesthesia care unit stay (57 min vs 46 min), and experienced sleepiness more frequently after discharge (75% vs 39%; all comparisons significant at P < 0.03). There were no adverse cardiorespiratory events in either group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings demonstrate that i.v. clonidine administered after induction of anesthesia significantly reduces the incidence of EA in young children, but is associated with sleepiness postoperatively.

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