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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar

Clin Perinatol



Pharmacologic Analgesia and Sedation in Neonates.


McPherson C, Grunau RE
Clin Perinatol. 2022 Mar; 49(1):243-265.
PMID: 35210004.


Chronic pain and agitation in neonatal life impact the developing brain. Oral sweet-tasting solutions should be used judiciously to mitigate behavioral responses to mild painful procedures, keeping in mind that the long-term impact is unknown. Rapidly acting opioids should be used as part of premedication cocktails for nonemergent endotracheal intubations. Continuous low-dose morphine or dexmedetomidine may be considered for preterm or term neonates exhibiting signs of stress during mechanical ventilation and therapeutic hypothermia, respectively. Further research is required regarding the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety, and efficacy of pharmacologic agents used to mitigate mild, moderate, and chronic pain and stress in neonates.