Intravenous Alpha-2 Agonists: Finding its Place in the NICU

October 26, 2022

This activity will first provide brief background history on what we already know about pain/sedation and the use of opioids and benzodiazepine in the neonatal population. Following this, the audience will be provided with early literature evaluating pharmacokinetics of dexmedetomidine and then most recent studies providing efficacy and safety data for its use specifically in neonates requiring mechanical ventilation and those who are receiving therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic ischemia encephalopathy. Based on this evidence, I will close by providing my clinical opinion on its place in the NICU. The goal is to provide more data to practicing pharmacists who are not comfortable with this medication and its use in the neonatal population.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for pharmacists. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Review current and historical understanding of nociception and sedation in neonates and the clinical implications
  • Describe pharmacology and pharmacokinetic profile of dexmedetomidine
  • Evaluate available literature surrounding dexmedetomidine use in animal and neonatal models and identify its place in managing neonatal sedation

Additional Information

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.50 ACPE Pharmacist
  • 0.50 General CE - Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
10/26/2022 - 2:00pm CDT
Event ends: 
10/26/2022 - 2:30pm CDT

Planning Committee
Jontae Warren, PharmD
PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy Resident
IU Health-Riley Hospital for Children

Planning Committee
Sybil Thomas, PharmD, MBA
Senior Director, Pharmacy
Vizient, Inc.

Disclosure of Financial Relationships:

Absence of Relevant Financial Relationships

Vizient, Inc., Jointly Accredited for Interprofessional Continuing Education, defines companies to be ineligible as those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

An individual is considered to have a relevant financial relationship if the educational content an individual can control is related to the business lines or products of the ineligible company.

No one in a position to control the content of this educational activity have relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Statement of content validity 

Vizient, Inc. educational activities are intended to assist healthcare teams advance their professional responsibilities in accordance with the definition of continuing education. It is the policy of Vizient, Inc. to review and ensure that all content and recommendations for patient care within accredited CE is evidenced-based, based on current science and clinical reasoning while ensuring the content is fair and balanced. All recommendations must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Vizient, Inc. does not permit accredited continuing education if it advocates for unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or if the education promotes recommendations, treatment, or manners of practicing healthcare that are determined to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients.

FDA off-label/unapproved usage

Faculty/Presenters are required to identify any new and evolving topics for which there is a lower/absence of evidence base. This is to ensure that our content does not advocate for, or promote, practices that are not, or not yet adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning. Faculty/Presenters are required to disclose any discussion of (1) off-label/unapproved or investigational uses of FDA approved commercial products or devices and/or (2) products or devices not yet approved in the United States.

Off-label/unapproved drug uses or products are mentioned within this activity.

Disclaimer: The education provided through this activity is for continuing education purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of Vizient, Inc.


Joint Accreditation Statement:

In support of improving patient care, Vizient, Inc. is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Designation Statement:


Vizient, Inc. designates this activity for a maximum of 0.5 ACPE credit hours.

Universal Activity Number: JA0006103-0000-22-139-L01-P

Available Credit

  • 0.50 ACPE Pharmacist
  • 0.50 General CE - Attendance
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