More than Drug Fever: Dexmedetomidine-Induced Hyperthermia in a Critically Ill Patient

Christian L. Kressin, Eric Bensadoun, William James, Blair Lawless, Brittany Kellum, Alexander H. Flannery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dexmedetomidine is a selective alpha-2 adrenergic agonist utilized for sedation in critically ill patients.1 We present the case of a morbidly obese critically ill patient who experienced profound hyperthermia, with a maximum temperature of 41.4°C, hours after starting a dexmedetomidine infusion that was otherwise not explained by her clinical diagnoses. The hyperthermia resolved hours following cessation of the infusion. Dexmedetomidine was assessed as probable in terms of causing this adverse effect. Dexmedetomidine may be associated not only with low-grade fever, but as demonstrated in our case, it may be associated with significant temperature elevations requiring cessation of therapy to restore normothermia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1026-1029
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • critical care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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