Double-blind comparison of rectally administered diazepam to placebo for pediatric sedation: the cardiovascular response.

Publication Date



Anesth Prog. 1985 Nov–Dec; 32(6): 232–236.


The sedative and cardiovascular effects of rectally administered diazepam (0.6 mg/kg) were compared to placebo in uncooperative children who required sedation during dental treatment. Twelve healthy preschool children, who required amalgam restorations, were treated during two standardized restorative appointments in a double-blind, crossover study. Blood pressure and pulse were obtained during four specified intervals during the appointment. The behavior of the children during the treatment visits was videotaped and later statistically analyzed using a kinesics/vocalization instrument. Behavioral ratings of cooperation were significantly improved during the treatment visit following diazepam. All interfering bodily movements, patient vocalizations and operator commands for the diazepam group were reduced significantly (p≤0.0001). No significant differences were observed for noninterfering behavioral response. Rectally administered diazepam did not alter blood pressure or pulse significantly in these sedated children when compared to the placebo. These findings indicate that rectal diazepam is an effective sedative agent with minimal effect on the cardiovascular system for the management of the young pediatric dental patient.


Anesthesia, Dental, Anesthesia, Rectal, Child, Preschool, Diazepam, Double-Blind Method, Heart, Hemodynamics, Humans, Placebos


PMCID: PMC2175420