BACKGROUND: Adequate sedation is crucial to the management of children requiring assisted ventilation on Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU). The evidence-base of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in this area is small and a trial was planned to compare midazolam and clonidine, two sedatives widely used within PICUs neither of which being licensed for that use. The application to obtain a Clinical Trials Authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) required a dossier summarising the safety profiles of each drug and the pharmacovigilance plan for the trial needed to be determined by this information. A systematic review was undertaken to identify reports relating to the safety of each drug.<br /><br />METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) were obtained for each sedative. The MHRA were requested to provide reports relating to the use of each drug as a sedative in children under the age of 16. Medline was searched to identify RCTs, controlled clinical trials, observational studies, case reports and series. 288 abstracts were identified for midazolam and 16 for clonidine with full texts obtained for 80 and 6 articles respectively. Thirty-three studies provided data for midazolam and two for clonidine. The majority of data has come from observational studies and case reports. The MHRA provided details of 10 and 3 reports of suspected adverse drug reactions.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: No adverse reactions were identified in addition to those specified within the SmPC for the licensed use of the drugs. Based on this information and the wide spread use of both sedatives in routine practice the pharmacovigilance plan was restricted to adverse reactions. The Clinical Trials Authorisation was granted based on the data presented in the SmPC and the pharmacovigilance plan within the clinical trial protocol restricting collection and reporting to adverse reactions.
Gamble, C., Wolf, A., Sinha, I., Spowart, C., & Williamson, P. (2013). The Role of Systematic Reviews in Pharmacovigilance Planning and Clinical Trials Authorisation Application: Example from the SLEEPS Trial. PLoS ONE, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051787