Midazolam, previously marketed under the trade name Versed, is a medication used for anesthesia, procedural sedation, trouble sleeping, and severe agitation. Midazolam is a short-acting benzodiazepine central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Pharmacodynamic properties of midazolam and its metabolites, which are similar to those of other benzodiazepines, include sedative, anxiolytic, amnesic and hypnotic activities. Benzodiazepine pharmacologic effects appear to result from reversible interactions with the γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) benzodiazepine receptor in the CNS, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. The action of midazolam is readily reversed by the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, flumazenil. Data from published reports of studies in pediatric patients clearly demonstrate that oral midazolam provides safe and effective sedation and anxiolysis prior to surgical procedures that require anesthesia as well as before other procedures that require sedation but may not require anesthesia. The most commonly reported effective doses range from 0.25 to 1 mg/kg in children (6 months to <16 years). The single most commonly reported effective dose is 0.5 mg/kg. Time to onset of effect is most frequently reported as 10 to 20 minutes. The effects of midazolam on the CNS are dependent on the dose administered, the route of administration, and the presence or absence of other medications. NCATS
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