Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Systematic Review

Comparison of intranasal dexmedetomidine versus oral midazolam for premedication in pediatric patients: an updated meta-analysis with trial-sequential analysis

Eduardo Maia Martins Pereira, TatianaSouza do Nascimento, Mariana Gaya da Costa, Eric Slawka, Carlos Galhardo Júnior

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Midazolam is routinely used as preanesthetic medication in pediatric patients. Recently, dexmedetomidine has emerged as an alternative as a premedicant. We aimed to add more evidence about the efficacy and safety of two common routes of administration for pediatric premedication: oral midazolam versus intranasal dexmedetomidine.


We systematically searched Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) involving patients ≤ 18 years old undergoing preanesthetic medication and comparing intranasal dexmedetomidine with oral midazolam. Risk Ratio (RR) and Mean Difference (MD) with 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CI) were computed using a random effects model. Trial-sequential analyses were performed to assess inconsistency.


Sixteen RCTs (1,239 patients) were included. Mean age was 5.5 years old, and most procedures were elective. There was no difference in satisfactory induction or mask acceptance (RR = 1.15, 95% CI 0.97–1.37; p = 0.11). There was a higher incidence of satisfactory separation from parents in the dexmedetomidine group (RR = 1.40; 95% CI 1.13–1.74; p = 0.002). Dexmedetomidine was also associated with a reduction in the incidence of emergence agitation (RR=0.35; 95% CI 0.14–0.88; p = 0.02). Heart rate and mean arterial pressure were marginally lower in the dexmedetomidine group but without clinical repercussions.


Compared with oral midazolam, intranasal dexmedetomidine demonstrated better separation from parents and lower incidence of emergence agitation in pediatric premedication, without a difference in satisfactory induction. Intranasal dexmedetomidine may be a safe and effective alternative to oral midazolam for premedication in pediatric patients.


Dexmedetomidine Meta-analysis Midazolam Pediatrics Premedication
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