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Dexmedetomidine for dyspnoea
  1. Akiko Mano,
  2. Tomohiro Murata,
  3. Kazuma Date,
  4. Mitsuhiro Kawata,
  5. Miyuki Sato,
  6. Norie Yamashita,
  7. Kimie Iino,
  8. Shunei Kyo and
  9. Eiichi Saito
  1. Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Akiko Mano; akiko_mano{at}


Dexmedetomidine is a selective α2-adrenoreceptor agonist with a broad range of effects, including easily controllable sedation, analgesia and anxiolysis. Because of these favorable features, it has replaced traditional sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, and is becoming the first-line sedative for the patients in intensive care units. Terminally ill patients often need sedatives for symptom management, especially for dyspnoea. However, the use of dexmedetomidine in a palliative care setting has rarely been recognised to date. We experienced a patient nearing the end of life due to uncontrollable pulmonary haemorrhage on ventilator, whose dyspnoea was successfully managed by dexmedetomidine in addition to continuous intravenous infusion of oxycodone.

  • supportive care
  • dyspnoea
  • terminal care

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  • Contributors AM: patient care, manuscript writing. TM, KD, MK, MS, NY, KI: patient care. SK: supervisor for manuscript writing. ES: patient care, supervisor for manuscript writing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.