Purpose: This retrospective study compares the efficacy and safety of variable dosing of Chloral Hydrate – Hydroxyzine with and without Meperidine (Mep)for managing varying levels of anxiety and uncooperative behavior of young pediatric dental patients over a 35-year period. Study design: Reviews of the sedation logs of 2,610 children, 3–7 years were compared in search of what dosing proves safe and effective for differing levels of challenging behavior. Variable dosing of CH with and without Mep were judged using a pragmatic approach which defined sedation success as optimal, adequate, inadequate, or over-dosage using oneway analysis of variance. Descriptive analyses of behavior and physiologic assessment was included with regard to the extent to which physical restraint occurred to control interfering behavior. Arousal levels requiring stimulation, oxygen desaturation, and adverse reactions were included as indications of safety. Results: Where Mep was used, success rates were consistently higher; need for higher-end dosing of CH was not found beneficial when Mep was included. Significantly less need for physical restraint accompanied the addition of Mep. Conclusions: There appears to be strong basis for the safety and efficacy of the use of CH-H-Mep in combination at lower dosing than historically used. Addition of Mep was observed to enhance sedations, permit lower CH dosing, lessen or eliminate the need for physical restraint and adverse reactions.

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