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This article is part of the supplement: Analgesia and sedation in the intensive care unit

Highly Accessed Review

Medications for analgesia and sedation in the intensive care unit: an overview

Diederik Gommers* and Jan Bakker

Author Affiliations

Department of Intensive Care, Erasmus MC, Gravendijkwal 230, 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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Critical Care 2008, 12(Suppl 3):S4  doi:10.1186/cc6150

Published: 14 May 2008

Abstract

Critically ill patients are often treated with continuous intravenous infusions of sedative drugs. However, this is associated with high risk for over-sedation, which can result in prolonged stay in the intensive care unit. Recently introduced protocols (daily interruption and analgosedation) have proven to reduce the length of intensive care unit stay. To introduce these protocols, new agents or new regimens with the well established agents may be required. In this article we briefly discuss these new regimens and new agents, focusing on the short-acting substances.