Dexmedetomidine is an intravenous alpha-2 agonist used as a sedative infusion. It has some uniquely useful properties, particularly that it doesn’t suppress respiration (allowing it to be safely used in non-intubated patients). The main drawbacks of dexmedetomidine are logistic: it is expensive and can be administered only as an IV infusion within an ED or ICU. Oral clonidine offers some similar benefits compared to dexmedetomidine, without these logistic constraints.
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