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NeuroRehabilitation. 2005;20(4):279-306.

Treatment of agitation following traumatic brain injury: a review of the literature.

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St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Agitation, restlessness, and aggression are frequent neurobehavioural sequelae in the early stages of recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI). These behavioural symptoms disrupt patient care and impede rehabilitation efforts. We review the current literature (1985 onwards) examining the pharmacological management of post-TBI agitation in both acute and post-acute conditions. This article will assess the evidence for the use of selected alkylphenols, benzodiazepines, estrogens, antiandrogens, neuroleptics/antipsychotics, antidepressants, anti-Parkinsonian agents, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, lithium carbonate, buspirone, beta-blockers, and psychostimulants in agitated TBI survivors. Review of the literature suggests that there is limited evidence to accurately guide clinicians in the management of this patient population.

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