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Preliminary pharmacokinetics and patient experience of jet-injected dexmedetomidine in healthy adults.

Jet injection is a drug delivery system without a needle. A compressed liquid drug formulation pierces the skin, depositing the drug into the subcutaneous or intramuscular tissues. We investigated the pharmacokinetics and patient experience of dexmedetomidine administered using jet injection in six healthy adult study participants. This needleless jet injection device was used to administer dexmedetomidine 0.5 μg/kg to the subcutaneous tissues overlying the deltoid muscle. Serum concentrations of dexmedetomidine were assayed at approximately 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour and 4 hours after administration. Pharmacokinetic interrogation of concentration time profiles estimated an absorption half time for jet-injected dexmedetomidine of 21 minutes (coefficient of variation 69.4%) with a relative bioavailability assumed unity. In our samples the measured median peak (range) concentration was 0.164 μg/l (0.011-0.325 μg/l), observed in the sample taken at a median (range) of 13.5 minutes (11-30 minutes). The Richmond agitation sedation scale was used to assess the sedative effect, and scored 0 (alert and calm) or -1 (drowsy) in all participants. Five of the six participants stated they would prefer jet injection to needle injection in the future and one had no preference. The findings suggest that the use of a larger dose (>2 μg/kg) would be required to achieve the clinically relevant target concentration of 1 μg/l necessary to achieve deeper sedation (Richmond agitation sedation scale ≤3).

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