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Midazolam must never be used without individualization of dosage particularly when used with other medications capable of producing central nervous system depression. Prior to the intravenous administration of midazolam in any dose, the immediate availability of oxygen, resuscitative drugs, age- and size-appropriate equipment for bag/valve/mask ventilation and intubation, and skilled personnel for the maintenance of a patent airway and support of ventilation should be ensured. Patients should be continuously monitored with some means of detection for early signs of hypoventilation, airway obstruction, or apnea, ie, pulse oximetry. Hypoventilation, airway obstruction, and apnea can lead to hypoxia and/or cardiac arrest unless effective countermeasures are taken immediately. The immediate availability of specific reversal agents (flumazenil) is highly recommended. Vital signs should continue to be monitored during the recovery period. Because intravenous midazolam depresses respiration (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY) and because opioid agonists and other sedatives can add to this depression, midazolam should be administered as an induction agent only by a person trained in general anesthesia and should be used for sedation/anxiolysis/amnesia only in the presence of personnel skilled in early detection of hypoventilation, maintaining a patent airway and supporting ventilation. When used for sedation/anxiolysis/amnesia, midazolam should always be titrated slowly in adult or pediatric patients. Adverse hemodynamic events have been reported in pediatric patients with cardiovascular instability; rapid intravenous administration should also be avoided in this population (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, PEDIATRIC PATIENTS for complete information).
Serious cardiorespiratory adverse events have occurred after administration of midazolam. These have included respiratory depression, airway obstruction, oxygen desaturation, apnea, respiratory arrest and/or cardiac arrest, sometimes resulting in death or permanent neurologic injury. There have also been rare reports of hypotensive episodes requiring treatment during or after diagnostic or surgical manipulations particularly in adult or pediatric patients with hemodynamic instability. Hypotension occurred more frequently in the sedation studies in patients premedicated with a narcotic.
Reactions such as agitation, involuntary movements (including tonic/clonic movements and muscle tremor), hyperactivity and combativeness have been reported in both adult and pediatric patients. These reactions may be due to inadequate or excessive dosing or improper administration of midazolam; however, consideration should be given to the possibility of cerebral hypoxia or true paradoxical reactions. Should such reactions occur, the response to each dose of midazolam and all other drugs, including local anesthetics, should be evaluated before proceeding. Reversal of such responses with flumazenil has been reported in pediatric patients.
Concomitant use of barbiturates, alcohol or other central nervous system depressants may increase the risk of hypoventilation, airway obstruction, desaturation, or apnea and may contribute to profound and/or prolonged drug effect. Narcotic premedication also depresses the ventilatory response to carbon dioxide stimulation.
Higher risk adult and pediatric surgical patients, elderly patients and debilitated adult and pediatric patients require lower dosages, whether or not concomitant sedating medications have been administered. Adult or pediatric patients with COPD are unusually sensitive to the respiratory depressant effect of midazolam. Pediatric and adult patients undergoing procedures involving the upper airway such as upper endoscopy or dental care, are particularly vulnerable to episodes of desaturation and hypoventilation due to partial airway obstruction. Adult and pediatric patients with chronic renal failure and patients with congestive heart failure eliminate midazolam more slowly (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Because elderly patients frequently have inefficient function of one or more organ systems and because dosage requirements have been shown to decrease with age, reduced initial dosage of midazolam is recommended, and the possibility of profound and/or prolonged effect should be considered.
Injectable midazolam should not be administered to adult or pediatric patients in shock or coma, or in acute alcohol intoxication with depression of vital signs. Particular care should be exercised in the use of intravenous midazolam in adult or pediatric patients with uncompensated acute illnesses, such as severe fluid or electrolyte disturbances.
There have been limited reports of intra-arterial injection of midazolam. Adverse events have included local reactions, as well as isolated reports of seizure activity in which no clear causal relationship was established. Precautions against unintended intra-arterial injection should be taken. Extravasation should also be avoided.
The safety and efficacy of midazolam following nonintravenous and nonintramuscular routes of administration have not been established. Midazolam should only be administered intramuscularly or intravenously.
The decision as to when patients who have received injectable midazolam, particularly on an outpatient basis, may again engage in activities requiring complete mental alertness, operate hazardous machinery or drive a motor vehicle must be individualized. Gross tests of recovery from the effects of midazolam (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY) cannot be relied upon to predict reaction time under stress. It is recommended that no patient operate hazardous machinery or a motor vehicle until the effects of the drug, such as drowsiness, have subsided or until one full day after anesthesia and surgery, whichever is longer. For pediatric patients, particular care should be taken to assure safe ambulation.
Usage in Pregnancy
An increased risk of congenital malformations associated with the use of benzodiazepine drugs (diazepam and chlordiazepoxide) has been suggested in several studies. If this drug is used during pregnancy, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
Usage In Preterm Infants and Neonates
Rapid injection should be avoided in the neonatal population. Midazolam administered rapidly as an intravenous injection (less than 2 minutes) has been associated with severe hypotension in neonates, particularly when the patient has also received fentanyl. Likewise, severe hypotension has been observed in neonates receiving a continuous infusion of midazolam who then receive a rapid intravenous injection of fentanyl. Seizures have been reported in several neonates following rapid intravenous administration.
The neonate also has reduced and/or immature organ function and is also vulnerable to profound and/or prolonged respiratory effects of midazolam.
Exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol has been associated with toxicity (hypotension, metabolic acidosis), particularly in neonates, and an increased incidence of kernicterus, particularly in small preterm infants. There have been rare reports of deaths, primarily in preterm infants, associated with exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol. The amount of benzyl alcohol from medications is usually considered negligible compared to that received in flush solutions containing benzyl alcohol. Administration of high dosages of medications (including midazolam) containing this preservative must take into account the total amount of benzyl alcohol administered. The recommended dosage range of midazolam for preterm and term infants includes amounts of benzyl alcohol well below that associated with toxicity; however, the amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. If the patient requires more than the recommended dosages or other medications containing this preservative, the practitioner must consider the daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from these combined sources.
Intravenous doses of midazolam should be decreased for elderly and for debilitated patients. (see WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, USUAL ADULT DOSAGE.) These patients will also probably take longer to recover completely after midazolam administration for the induction of anesthesia.
Midazolam does not protect against the increase in intracranial pressure or against the heart rate rise and/or blood pressure rise associated with endotracheal intubation under light general anesthesia.
Use With Other CNS Depressants
The efficacy and safety of midazolam in clinical use are functions of the dose administered, the clinical status of the individual patient, and the use of concomitant medications capable of depressing the CNS. Anticipated effects range from mild sedation to deep levels of sedation virtually equivalent to a state of general anesthesia where the patient may require external support of vital functions. Care must be taken to individualize and carefully titrate the dose of midazolam to the patient's underlying medical/surgical conditions, administer to the desired effect being certain to wait an adequate time for peak CNS effects of both midazolam and concomitant medications, and have the personnel and size- appropriate equipment and facilities available for monitoring and intervention (see BOXED WARNING, WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Monitoring.) Practitioners administering midazolam must have the skills necessary to manage reasonably foreseeable adverse effects, particularly skills in airway management. For information regarding withdrawal, see Drug Abuse and Dependence.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility
Carcinogenesis: Midazolam maleate was administered with diet in mice and rats for 2 years at dosages of 1, 9 and 80 mg/kg/day. In female mice in the highest dose group there was a marked increase in the incidence of hepatic tumors. In high-dose male rats there was a small but statistically significant increase in benign thyroid follicular cell tumors. Dosages of 9 mg/kg/day of midazolam maleate (25 times a human dose of 0.35 mg/kg) do not increase the incidence of tumors. The pathogenesis of induction of these tumors is not known. These tumors were found after chronic administration, whereas human use will ordinarily be of single or several doses.
Impairment of Fertility: A reproduction study in male and female rats did not show any impairment of fertility at dosages up to 10 times the human IV dose of 0.35 mg/kg.
Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category D. (See WARNINGS).
Segment II teratology studies, performed with midazolam maleate injectable in rabbits and rats at 5 and 10 times the human dose of 0.35 mg/kg, did not show evidence of teratogenicity.
Nonteratogenic Effects: Studies in rats showed no adverse effects on reproductive parameters during gestation and lactation. Dosages tested were approximately 10 times the human dose of 0.35 mg/kg.
Labor and Delivery
In humans, measurable levels of midazolam were found in maternal venous serum, umbilical venous and arterial serum and amniotic fluid, indicating placental transfer of the drug. Following intramuscular administration of 0.05 mg/kg of midazolam, both the venous and the umbilical arterial serum concentrations were lower than maternal concentrations.
The use of injectable midazolam in obstetrics has not been evaluated in clinical studies. Because midazolam is transferred transplacentally and because other benzodiazepines given in the last weeks of pregnancy have resulted in neonatal CNS depression, midazolam is not recommended for obstetrical use.
Midazolam is excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when midazolam is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and efficacy of midazolam for sedation/anxiolysis/amnesia following single dose intramuscular administration, intravenously by intermittent injections and continuous infusion have been established in pediatric and neonatal patients. For specific safety monitoring and dosage guidelines see BOXED WARNING, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, INDICATIONS AND USAGE, WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, OVERDOSAGE and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION. UNLIKE ADULT PATIENTS, PEDIATRIC PATIENTS GENERALLY RECEIVE INCREMENTS OF MIDAZOLAM ON A MG/KG BASIS. As a group, pediatric patients generally require higher dosages of midazolam (mg/kg) than do adults. Younger (less than six years) pediatric patients may require higher dosages (mg/kg) than older pediatric patients, and may require closer monitoring. In obese PEDIATRIC PATIENTS, the dose should be calculated based on ideal body weight. When midazolam is given in conjunction with opioids or other sedatives, the potential for respiratory depression, airway obstruction, or hypoventilation is increased. The health care practitioner who uses this medication in pediatric patients should be aware of and follow accepted professional guidelines for pediatric sedation appropriate to their situation.
Midazolam should not be administered by rapid injection in the neonatal population. Severe hypotension and seizures have been reported following rapid IV administration, particularly, with concomitant use of fentanyl.
Because geriatric patients may have altered drug distribution and diminished hepatic and/or renal function, reduced doses of midazolam are recommended. Intravenous and intramuscular doses of midazolam should be decreased for elderly and for debilitated patients (see WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION) and subjects over 70 years of age may be particularly sensitive. These patients will also probably take longer to recover completely after midazolam administration for the induction of anesthesia. Administration of IM and IV midazolam to elderly and/or high- risk surgical patients has been associated with rare reports of death under circumstances compatible with cardiorespiratory depression. In most of these cases, the patients also received other central nervous system depressants capable of depressing respiration, especially narcotics (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Specific dosing and monitoring guidelines for geriatric patients are provided in the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section for premedicated patients for sedation/anxiolysis/amnesia following IV and IM administration for induction of anesthesia following IV administration and for continuous infusion.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/7/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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