Comparison of buccal and nasal dexmedetomidine premedication for pediatric patients

Paediatr Anaesth. 2013 Feb;23(2):134-8. doi: 10.1111/pan.12025. Epub 2012 Sep 18.


Background: Alpha-2 adrenergic agonists are used to premedicate pediatric patients to reduce separation anxiety and achieve calm induction. The clinical effects of clonidine are similar whether via the oral or nasal route. However, oral dexmedetomidine is not preferred because of its poor bioavailability. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of nasal versus buccal dexmedetomidine used for premedication in children.

Methods: Sixty-two patients, aged 2-6 years, undergoing minor elective surgery were randomly assigned to two groups to receive dexmedetomidine, either 1 μg·kg(-1) buccally (group B) or 1 μg·kg(-1) intranasally (group N) for premedication 45 min before the induction of anesthesia. Heart rate, peripheral oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate were measured before and every 10 min after administering dexmedetomidine in all children. Level of sedation was assessed every 10 min until transport to operating room. Drug acceptance, parental separation, and face mask acceptance scores were recorded.

Results: There was no significant difference between the two groups in patient characteristics, nor was there any significant difference between the two groups in heart rate, respiratory rate, or SpO(2) values at all times after premedication. Levels of sedation, parental separation, and mask acceptance scores were significantly higher in group N than in group B at the various times.

Conclusions: These results suggest that intranasal administration of 1 μg·kg(-1) dexmedetomidine is more effective than buccal administration of 1 μg·kg(-1) dexmedetomidine for premedication in children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Buccal
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Anesthesia, Inhalation / psychology
  • Anxiety, Separation / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dexmedetomidine / administration & dosage*
  • Dexmedetomidine / adverse effects
  • Dexmedetomidine / pharmacology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Preanesthetic Medication / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Mechanics / drug effects


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Oxygen