Sedation and analgesia in critically ill neurologic patients

Jason M. Makii, Marek A. Mirski, John J. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Critically ill neurologic patients can pose a challenge when it comes to providing sedation and analgesia, primarily with the balance of maintaining sedation to provide patient comfort while still allowing a neurological examination. Determination of the optimal agent requires assessment and understanding of the underlying requirement for sedation: provision of analgesia, anxiolysis, or treatment of delirium. Pharmacological options exist that can affect individual or multiple underlying sedation requirements. Numerous evaluation tools exist to monitor the efficacy of sedation as well as help clinicians titrate agents to predefined goals; these tools allow the safe administration of drugs that can otherwise have serious adverse effects. Sedation regimens must ultimately be individualized to each patient to account for differences in pharmacokinetics and dynamics of the various agents, and this is particularly true in sedating neurologically injured patients. The agents frequently used to provide sedation and analgesia in the critically ill neurologic patient will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-469
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • analgesia
  • anxiolysis
  • delirium
  • intensive care unit
  • neurologic
  • sedation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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