The CLOSED trial; CLOnidine compared with midazolam for SEDation of paediatric patients in the intensive care unit: study protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial

BMJ Open. 2017 Jun 21;7(6):e016031. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016031.


Introduction: Sedation is an essential part of paediatric critical care. Midazolam, often in combination with opioids, is the current gold standard drug. However, as it is a far-from-ideal agent, clonidine is increasingly being used in children. This drug is prescribed off-label for this indication, as many drugs in paediatrics are. Therefore, the CLOSED trial aims to provide data on the pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy of clonidine for the sedation of mechanically ventilated patients in order to obtain a paediatric-use marketing authorisation.

Methods and analysis: The CLOSED study is a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, active-controlled non-inferiority trial with a 1:1 randomisation between clonidine and midazolam. Both treatment groups are stratified according to age in three groups with the same size: <28 days (n=100), 28 days to <2 years (n=100) and 2-18 years (n=100). The primary end point is defined as the occurrence of sedation failure within the study period. Secondary end points include a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship, pharmacogenetics, occurrence of delirium and withdrawal syndrome, opioid consumption and neurodevelopment in the neonatal age group. Logistic regression will be used for the primary end point, appropriate statistics will be used for the secondary end points.

Ethics: Written informed consent will be obtained from the parents/caregivers. Verbal or deferred consent will be used in the sites where national legislation allows. The study has institutional review board approval at recruiting sites. The results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and shared with the worldwide medical community.

Trial registration: EudraCT: 2014-003582-24; NCT02509273; pre-results.

Keywords: children; criticalillness; paediatrics; pharmacology; sedation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Child Development / drug effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clonidine / adverse effects
  • Clonidine / pharmacokinetics
  • Clonidine / therapeutic use*
  • Delirium / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacokinetics
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Midazolam / adverse effects
  • Midazolam / pharmacokinetics
  • Midazolam / therapeutic use*
  • Research Design*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
  • Treatment Failure


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Clonidine
  • Midazolam

Associated data

  • EudraCT/2014-003582-24