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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

[Rapid tranquillisation: review of the literature and recommendations]

Review published: 2011.

Bibliographic details: Bak M, van Os J, Marcelis M.  [Rapid tranquillisation: review of the literature and recommendations]. [Acute ingrijpmedicatie: literatuuroverzicht en aanbevelingen.] Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 2011; 53(10): 727-737. [PubMed: 21989751]


BACKGROUND: In The Netherlands, no guidelines exist for rapid tranquillisation in the context of acute agitation, excitement or aggression secondary to a psychiatric disorder.

AIM: To generate an overview of medication regimes suitable for rapid tranquillisation.

METHOD: A literature search was conducted focussing on the effect of medical interventions in acute excitement, agitation or aggression. Primary outcome measurements were tranquillity, being calm, sedation, or asleep within two hours. Secondary outcome measures were frequency of re-administration and adverse side effects.

RESULTS: Haloperidol appears as effective as lorazepam; haloperidol in combination with lorazepam does not have added value to lorazepam or haloperidol alone. Dehydrobenzperidol, risperidone, olanzapine and aripiprazole are comparable in effectiveness to lorazepam or haloperidol. Haloperidol in combination with promethazine is associated with a more rapid onset of effect than lorazepam, haloperidol or olanzapine. Midazolam is faster than the combination of haloperidol and promethazine, but requires more frequent re-administration of medication and increases the risk for respiratory depression. The literature on quetiapine was insufficient. The level of evidence, however, is modest.

CONCLUSION: Haloperidol in combination with promethazine, and olanzapine, are effective in psychotic agitation, although haloperidol plus promethazine has a more rapid onset of effect faster; lorazepam is effective in non-psychotic agitation, aggression or excitement as well as in acute agitation of unknown origin.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

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