Midazolam is frequently used to produce sedation in critically ill pediatric patients. We studied the pharmacokinetics of midazolam in 22 patients (age 8 days to 16 years). The intravenous infusion rate to produce sedation ranged from 49-385 mcg/kg/hr. The blood samples were obtained at steady-state and midazolam was measured by gas chromatography with electron capture. The steady-state plasma concentrations of midazolam ranged from 49-385 ng/mL. The total clearance, apparent volume of distribution, and elimination half-life ranged from 0.1-3.1 L/kg/hr, 0.2-3.5 L/kg, and 0.3-10.9 hours, respectively. The marked interpatient variability in pharmacokinetics explains in part, the substantial variation in dosage requirements of midazolam to produce sedation in critically ill pediatric patients.