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Midazolam (Versed ®)

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Usual Diluents


Standard Dilutions   [Amount of drug] [Infusion volume] [Infusion rate]

ICU only
[25 mg] [50 ml] [Titrate]
[50 mg] [100 ml] [Titrate]

Concentration: 0.5 mg/ml

Stability / Miscellaneous

EXP: 1 DAY (RT).
Usual dose requested: 1 to 5 mg/hr

Status epilepticus: 0.1 to 0.35 mg/kg load, followed by continuous infusion: 0.05 to 1.08 mg/kg/hr (possibly up to 2? Based on EEG).

Mechanical ventilator patient: usually 0.05 to 0.2 mg/kg/hr for sedation.

Midazolam's activity is primarily due to the parent drug. Elimination of the parent drug takes place via hepatic metabolism of midazolam to hydroxylated metabolites that are conjugated and excreted in the urine.

Renal Failure
Patients with renal impairment may have longer elimination half-lives for midazolam and its metabolites which may result in slower recovery.

Midazolam and 1-hydroxy-midazolam pharmacokinetics in 6 ICU patients who developed acute renal failure (ARF) were compared with a normal renal function control group. Midazolam was administered as an infusion (5 to 15 mg/hr). Midazolam clearance was reduced (1.9 vs 2.8 mL/min/kg) and the half-life was prolonged (7.6 vs 13 hours) in the ARF patients. The renal clearance of the 1-hydroxy-midazolam glucuronide was prolonged in the ARF group (4 vs 136 mL/min) and the half-life was prolonged (12 vs > 25 hours). Plasma levels accumulated in all ARF patients to about ten times that of the parent drug. The relationship between accumulating metabolite levels and prolonged sedation is unclear.

In a study of chronic renal failure patients (n=15) receiving a single IV dose, there was a two-fold increase in the clearance and volume of distribution but the half-life remained unchanged. Metabolite levels were not studied.

Studies of the intravenous administration of 1-hydroxy-midazolam in humans suggest that 1-hydroxy-midazolam is at least as potent as the parent compound and may contribute to the net pharmacologic activity of midazolam. In vitro studies have demonstrated that the affinities of 1- and 4-hydroxy-midazolam for the benzodiazepine receptor are approximately 20% and 7%, respectively, relative to midazolam.

Midazolam hydrochloride injection is a potent sedative agent that requires slow administration and individualization of dosage. Clinical experience has shown midazolam hydrochloride to be 3 to 4 times as potent per mg as diazepam. BECAUSE SERIOUS AND LIFE-THREATENING CARDIORESPIRATORY ADVERSE EVENTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED, PROVISION FOR MONITORING, DETECTION AND CORRECTION OF THESE REACTIONS MUST BE MADE FOR EVERY PATIENT T0 WHOM MIDAZOLAM HYDROCHLORIDE INJECTION IS ADMINISTERED, REGARDLESS OF AGE OR HEALTH STATUS. Excessive single doses or rapid intravenous administration may result in respiratory depression, airway obstruction and/or arrest. The potential for these latter effects is increased in debilitated patients, those receiving concomitant medications capable of depressing the CNS, and patients without an endotracheal tube but undergoing a procedure involving the upper airway such as endoscopy or dental (see package insert for Boxed WARNING and WARNINGS).

Reactions such as agitation, involuntary movements, hyperactivity and combativeness have been reported in adult and pediatric patients. Should such reactions occur, caution should be exercised before continuing administration of midazolam hydrochloride.

Midazolam hydrochloride injection should only be administered IM or IV.

Care should be taken to avoid intra-arterial injection or extravasation.

Midazolam Hydrochloride Injection may be mixed in the same syringe with the following frequently used premedications: morphine sulfate, meperidine, atropine sulfate or scopolamine. Midazolam, at a concentration of 0.5 mg/mL, is compatible with 5% dextrose in water and 0.9% sodium chloride for up to 24 hours and with lactated Ringer’s solution for up to 4 hours. Both the 1 mg/mL and 5 mg/mL formulations of midazolam may be diluted with 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% dextrose in water.

Monitoring: Patient response to sedative agents, and resultant respiratory status, is variable. Regardless of the intended level of sedation or route of administration, sedation is a continuum; a patient may move easily from light to deep sedation, with potential loss of protective reflexes. This is especially true in pediatric patients. Sedative doses should be individually titrated, taking into account patient age, clinical status and concomitant use of other CNS depressants. Continuous monitoring of respiratory and cardiac function is required (i.e., pulse oximetry).

Adults and Pediatrics: Sedation guidelines recommend a careful presedation history to determine how a patient’s underlying medical conditions or concomitant medications might affect their response to sedation/analgesia as well as a physical examination including a focused examination of the airway for abnormalities. Further recommendations include appropriate presedation fasting.

Titration to effect with multiple small doses is essential for safe administration. It should be noted that adequate time to achieve peak central nervous system effect (3 to 5 minutes) for midazolam should be allowed between doses to minimize the potential for oversedation. Sufficient time must elapse between doses of concomitant sedative medications to allow the effect of each dose to be assessed before subsequent drug administration. This is an important consideration for all patients who receive intravenous midazolam.

Immediate availability of resuscitative drugs and age- and size-appropriate equipment and personnel trained in their use and skilled in airway management should be assured.

Pediatrics: For deeply sedated pediatric patients a dedicated individual, other than the practitioner performing the procedure, should monitor the patient throughout the procedure.

Intravenous access is not thought to be necessary for all pediatric patients sedated for a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure because in some cases the difficulty of gaining IV access would defeat the purpose of sedating the child; rather, emphasis should be placed upon having the intravenous equipment available and a practitioner skilled in establishing vascular access in pediatric patients immediately available.

For preoperative sedation/anxiolysis/ amnesia (induction of sleepiness or drowsiness and relief of apprehension and to impair memory of perioperative events).
For intramuscular use, midazolam hydrochloride should be injected deep in a large muscle mass.

The recommended premedication dose of midazolam for good risk (ASA Physical Status I & II) adult patients below the age of 60 years is 0.07 to 0.08 mg/kg IM (approximately 5 mg IM) administered up to 1 hour before surgery.

The dose must be individualized and reduced when IM midazolam is administered to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, other higher risk surgical patients, patients 60 or more years of age, and patients who have received concomitant narcotics or other CNS depressants (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). In a study of patients 60 years or older, who did not receive concomitant administration of narcotics, 2 to 3 mg (0.02 to 0.05 mg/kg) of midazolam produced adequate sedation during the preoperative period. The dose of 1 mg IM midazolam may suffice for some older patients if the anticipated intensity and duration of sedation is less critical. As with any potential respiratory depressant, these patients require observation for signs of cardiorespiratory depression after receiving IM midazolam.

Onset is within 15 minutes, peaking at 30 to 60 minutes. It can be administered concomitantly with atropine sulfate or scopolamine hydrochloride and reduced doses of narcotics.

INTRAVENOUSLY ------------
Sedation/anxiolysis/ amnesia for procedures (See INDICATIONS AND USAGE): Narcotic premedication results in less variability in patient response and a reduction in dosage of midazolam. For peroral procedures, the use of an appropriate topical anesthetic is recommended. For bronchoscopic procedures, the use of narcotic premedication is recommended.

When used for sedation/anxiolysis/amnesia for a procedure, dosage must be individualized and titrated. Midazolam hydrochloride should always be titrated slowly; administer over at least 2 minutes and allow an additional 2 or more minutes to fully evaluate the sedative effect. Individual response will vary with age, physical status and concomitant medications, but may also vary independent of these factors. (See package insert for WARNINGS concerning cardiac/respiratory arrest/airway obstruction/ hypoventilation.)

Midazolam hydrochloride 1 mg/mL formulation is recommended for sedation/anxiolysis/amnesia for procedures to facilitate slower injection. Both the 1 mg/mL and the 5 mg/mL formulations may be diluted with 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% dextrose in water.

1. Healthy Adults Below the Age of 60: Titrate slowly to the desired effect, (e.g., the initiation of slurred speech). Some patients may respond to as little as 1 mg. No more than 2.5 mg should be given over a period of at least 2 minutes. Wait an additional 2 or more minutes to fully evaluate the sedative effect. If further titration is necessary, continue to titrate, using small increments, to the appropriate level of sedation. Wait an additional 2 or more minutes after each increment to fully evaluate the sedative effect. A total dose greater than 5 mg is not usually necessary to reach the desired endpoint.

If narcotic premedication or other CNS depressants are used, patients will require approximately 30% less midazolam than unpremedicated patients.

2. Patients Age 60 or Older, and Debilitated or Chronically III Patients: Because the danger of hypoventilation, airway obstruction, or apnea is greater in elderly patients and those with chronic disease states or decreased pulmonary reserve, and because the peak effect may take longer in these patients, increments should be smaller and the rate of injection slower.

Titrate slowly to the desired effect, (e.g., the initiation of slurred speech). Some patients may respond to as little as 1 mg. No more than 1.5 mg should be given over a period of no less than 2 minutes. Wait an additional 2 or more minutes to fully evaluate the sedative effect. If additional titration is necessary, it should be given at a rate of no more than 1 mg over a period of 2 minutes, waiting an additional 2 or more minutes each time to fully evaluate the sedative effect. Total doses greater than 3.5 mg are not usually necessary.

If concomitant CNS depressant premedications are used in these patients, they will require at least 50% less midazolam than healthy young unpremedicated patients.

3. Maintenance Dose: Additional doses to maintain the desired level of sedation may be given in increments of 25% of the dose used to first reach the sedative endpoint, but again only by slow titration, especially in the elderly and chronically ill or debilitated patient. These additional doses should be given only after a thorough clinical evaluation clearly indicates the need for additional sedation.

Induction of Anesthesia:
For induction of general anesthesia, before administration of other anesthetic agents.
Individual response to the drug is variable, particularly when a narcotic premedication is not used. The dosage should be titrated to the desired effect according to the patient’s age and clinical status.

When midazolam is used before other intravenous agents for induction of anesthesia, the initial dose of each agent may be significantly reduced, at times to as low as 25% of the usual initial dose of the individual agents.

Unpremedicated Patients: In the absence of premedication, an average adult under the age of 55 years will usually require an initial dose of 0.3 to 0.35 mg/kg for induction, administered over 20 to 30 seconds and allowing 2 minutes for effect. If needed to complete induction, increments of approximately 25% of the patient’s initial dose may be used; induction may instead be completed with inhalational anesthetics. In resistant cases, up to 0.6 mg/kg total dose may be used for induction, but such larger doses may prolong recovery.

Unpremedicated patients over the age of 55 years usually require less midazolam for induction; an initial dose of 0.3 mg/kg is recommended. Unpremedicated patients with severe systemic disease or other debilitation usually require less midazolam for induction. An initial dose of 0.2 to 0.25 mg/kg will usually suffice; in some cases, as little as 0.15 mg/kg may suffice.

Premedicated Patients: When the patient has received sedative or narcotic premedication, particularly narcotic premedication, the range of recommended doses is 0.15 to 0.35 mg/kg.

In average adults below the age of 55 years, a dose of 0.25 mg/kg, administered over 20 to 30 seconds and allowing 2 minutes for effect, will usually suffice.

The initial dose of 0.2 mg/kg is recommended for good risk (ASA I & II) surgical patients over the age of 55 years.

In some patients with severe systemic disease or debilitation, as little as 0.15 mg/kg may suffice.

Narcotic premedication frequently used during clinical trials included fentanyl (1.5 to 2 mcg/kg IV, administered 5 minutes before induction), morphine (dosage individualized, up to 0.15 mg/kg IM), and meperidine (dosage individualized, up to 1 mg/kg IM). Sedative premedications were hydroxyzine pamoate (100 mg orally) and sodium secobarbital (200 mg orally). Except for intravenous fentanyl, administered 5 minutes before induction, all other premedications should be administered approximately 1 hour prior to the time anticipated for midazolam induction.

Injectable midazolam hydrochloride can also be used during maintenance of anesthesia, for surgical procedures, as a component of balanced anesthesia. Effective narcotic premedication is especially recommended in such cases.
Incremental injections of approximately 25% of the induction dose should be given in response to signs of lightening of anesthesia and repeated as necessary.

For continuous infusion, midazolam hydrochloride 5 mg/mL formulation is recommended diluted to a concentration of 0.5 mg/mL with 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% dextrose in water.

Usual Adult Dose: If a loading dose is necessary to rapidly initiate sedation, 0.01 to 0.05 mg/kg (approximately 0.5 to 4 mg for a typical adult) may be given slowly or infused over several minutes. This dose may be repeated at 10 to 15 minute intervals until adequate sedation is achieved. For maintenance of sedation, the usual initial infusion rate is 0.02 to 0.1 mg/kg/hr (1 to 7 mg/hr). Higher loading or maintenance infusion rates may occasionally be required in some patients. The lowest recommended doses should be used in patients with residual effects from anesthetic drugs, or in those concurrently receiving other sedatives or opioids.

Individual response to midazolam is variable. The infusion rate should be titrated to the desired level of sedation, taking into account the patient’s age, clinical status and current medications. In general, midazolam should be infused at the lowest rate that produces the desired level of sedation.

Assessment of sedation should be performed at regular intervals and the midazolam infusion rate adjusted up or down by 25% to 50% of the initial infusion rate so as to assure adequate titration of sedation level. Larger adjustments or even a small incremental dose may be necessary if rapid changes in the level of sedation are indicated. In addition, the infusion rate should be decreased by 10% to 25% every few hours to find the minimum effective infusion rate. Finding the minimum effective infusion rate decreases the potential accumulation of midazolam and provides for the most rapid recovery once the infusion is terminated. Patients who exhibit agitation, hypertension, or tachycardia in response to noxious stimulation, but who are otherwise adequately sedated, may benefit from concurrent administration of an opioid analgesic. Addition of an opioid will generally reduce the minimum effective midazolam hydrochloride infusion rate.

UNLIKE ADULT PATIENTS, PEDIATRIC PATIENTS GENERALLY RECEIVE INCREMENTS OF MIDAZOLAM HYDROCHLORIDE ON A MG/KG BASIS. As a group, pediatric patients generally require higher dosages of midazolam hydrochloride (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 close monitoring (see tables below). 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. For appropriate patient monitoring, see Boxed WARNING, WARNINGS, and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Monitoring. 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.

Assessment Categories
Responsiveness Speech Facial Expression Eyes Composite Score
Responds readily to name spoken in normal tone normal normal clear, no ptosis 5 (alert)
Lethargic response to name spoken in normal tone mild slowing or thickening mild relaxation glazed or mild ptosis (less than half the eye) 4
Responds only after name is called loudly and/or repeatedly slurring or prominent slowing marked relaxation (slack jaw) glazed and marked ptosis (half the eye or more) 3
Responds only after mild prodding or shaking few recognizable words - - 2
Does not respond to mild prodding or shaking - - - 1 (deep sleep)

Package configurations containing preservative-free midazolam hydrochloride equivalent to 1 mg midazolam/mL:

List Number Container
Fill Volume Total Midazolam
(per container)
2305 Fliptop Vial 2 mL 2 mg
2305 Fliptop Vial 5 mL 5 mg

Package configurations containing preservative-free midazolam hydrochloride equivalent to 5 mg midazolam/mL:

List Number Container
Fill Volume Total Midazolam
(per container)
2308 Fliptop Vial 1 mL 5 mg
2308 Fliptop Vial 2 mL 10 mg

Store at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.]

Discard unused portion.
December, 2004
©Hospira 2004EN-0680

Source: [package insert]

Versed ® – Midazolam