Weaning sedation and strong pain medicines

Children in PICU often need strong pain and sedation medications to keep them comfortable. If these medications are needed for more than a few days the doses are reduced slowly. This is because withdrawal symptoms can happen.

Withdrawing too quickly from these medications may make children sweaty, vomit or have loose stools. It may also make them feel upset and have trouble sleeping.

Weaning plan

When it's time for strong sedation and pain medicines to be reduced a ‘weaning' plan is made. All children are monitored very carefully while on a ‘weaning' plan. This is to help prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Related topics

This topic was reviewed by a paediatric intensive care medicine specialist in July 2022.

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