Subcutaneous midazolam infusion in palliative care

J Pain Symptom Manage. 1990 Aug;5(4):259-61. doi: 10.1016/0885-3924(90)90020-k.


This article describes the use of a subcutaneous infusion of midazolam to control restlessness and agitation in 23 patients during the final stages of advanced cancer. Midazolam effectively controlled symptoms in 22 of the patients at an initial dose of 0.4-0.8 mg/hr rising to a mean maximum dose of 2.9 mg/hr. Midazolam mixed in the same syringe as diamorphine was well tolerated at injection sites. The wide dose range emphasizes the need for careful titration of dose for individual patients. At high doses, the volume of injection required presented some practical difficulties, but otherwise there were no major problems with this technique. Midazolam by subcutaneous infusion is a well-tolerated, safe and effective treatment for terminal restlessness and agitation, and deserves more extensive evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral*
  • Male
  • Midazolam / administration & dosage*
  • Midazolam / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Psychomotor Agitation / drug therapy*
  • Psychomotor Agitation / etiology
  • Terminal Care


  • Midazolam