Intranasal Fentanyl and Midazolam Use in Children 3 Years of Age and Younger in the Emergency Department


Background: Although the efficacy and safety profiles of both intranasal fentanyl and midazolam are well studied in pediatric patients, few studies examine their use in younger children. Objectives: To examine and report our experiences in a pediatric emergency department (ED) with intranasal fentanyl and midazolam in children aged 3 years and younger. Methods: This retrospective study investigated intranasal fentanyl and midazolam administration, alone and in combination, in children 3 years and younger treated in a pediatric ED. Results: Of 6198 patients included, 1762 received intranasal fentanyl alone, 1115 received intranasal midazolam alone, and 3321 received combination therapy. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) patient age was 2.2 (1.5–3) years. Initial median (IQR) fentanyl dose was 2.7 (2–3) µg/kg, with 13.3% receiving a repeat dose. Initial median (IQR) midazolam dose was 0.3 (0.2–0.3) mg/kg, with 3.3% receiving a second dose. Children receiving both fentanyl and midazolam had median (IQR) initial doses of 2.8 (2.1–3) µg/kg and 0.3 (0.2–0.3) mg/kg, respectively. Of these, 3.2% received repeat doses of both medications. Laceration repairs (33.8%) and incision and drainage (22.2%) accounted for the majority of indications. Only 2.9% (n = 178) received additional opioids. No serious adverse events requiring a reversal agent or respiratory support were reported. Conclusions: Intranasal fentanyl and midazolam, alone and in combination, can provide analgesia and anxiolysis to children aged 3 years and younger in the ED setting. Further prospective studies are needed to better evaluate their safety and efficacy in this younger population.

Publication Title

Journal of Emergency Medicine