HealthDay News — For mechanically ventilated intensive care unit (ICU) patients, clonidine in addition to commonly used sedative agents has an antipyretic effect, according to a study published online June 6 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Majid Mokhtari, MD, from the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues conducted a single-center randomized trial to examine the effect of clonidine in addition to commonly used sedative agents in mechanically ventilated ICU patients. A group of 40 patients, aged 18 years or older, on mechanical ventilation for three days or longer were randomized to enteral clonidine or placebo in addition to the usual sedation/analgesia.

The researchers found that after adjustment for illness severity and time of follow-up, the odds ratio of having a temperature higher than 38.3 degrees Celsius was 3.96-fold higher in the placebo group (P=0.049). After adjustment for the time of follow-up, a lower temperature (0.52 degrees Celsius) was seen in the clonidine group (P=0.006).

“Our report is the first of its kind in humans which demonstrates possible antipyretic properties of enteral clonidine in the critically ill intensive care unit patients,” the authors write.

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