A randomized controlled trial comparing intranasal midazolam and chloral hydrate for procedural sedation in children

Marie Christy Sharafine Stephen*, John Mathew, Ajoy Mathew Varghese, Mary Kurien, George Ani Mathew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intranasal midazolam and chloral hydrate syrup for procedural sedation in children. Study Design Prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial (double blind, double dummy). Setting Tertiary care hospital over 18 months. Subjects and Methods Eighty-two children, 1 to 6 years old, undergoing auditory brainstem response testing were randomized to receive either intranasal midazolam with oral placebo or chloral hydrate syrup with placebo nasal spray. Intranasal midazolam was delivered at 0.5 mg/kg (100 mcg per spray) and oral syrup at 50 mg/kg. Children not sedated at 30 minutes had a second dose at half the initial dose. The primary outcomes measured were safety and efficacy. Secondary outcomes were time to onset of sedation, parental separation, nature of parental separation, parental satisfaction, audiologist's satisfaction, time to recovery, and number of attempts. Results Forty-one children were in each group, and no major adverse events were noted. The chloral hydrate group showed earlier onset of sedation (66%) compared with the intranasal midazolam group (33%). Significant difference in time to recovery was noted in the chloral hydrate group (78 minutes) versus the intranasal midazolam group (108 minutes). The parents' and audiologist's satisfaction was higher for chloral hydrate (95% and 75%) than for intranasal midazolam (49% and 29%, respectively). Overall, sedation was 95% with chloral hydrate versus 51% with intranasal midazolam. Both drugs maintained sedation. Conclusions Intranasal midazolam and chloral hydrate are both safe and efficacious for pediatric procedural sedation. Chloral hydrate was superior to intranasal midazolam, with an earlier time to onset of sedation, a faster recovery, better satisfaction among parents and the audiologist, and successful sedation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1050
Number of pages9
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • auditory brainstem response audiometry
  • chloral hydrate
  • midazolam
  • sedation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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