Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2010 Oct;32 Suppl 2:S96-103.

[Management of the violent or agitated patient].

[Article in Portuguese]

Author information

Divisão de Psiquiatria, Departamento de Neurociências e Ciências do Comportamento, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.



To review current data about the management of agitated or aggressive patients.


Through a search of databases (PubMed and Web of Science), empirical articles and reviews about pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for the management of agitation and /or violence were identified.


The non-pharmacological management of agitation/aggression encompasses the organization of space and appropriateness of behavior and attitudes of health professionals. The main goal of pharmacological management is rapid tranquilization aimed at reducing symptoms of agitation and aggression, without the induction of deep or prolonged sedation, keeping the patient calm, but completely or partially responsive. Polypharmacy should be avoided, and doses of medications should be as small as possible, adjusted according to clinical need. Intramuscular administration of medication should be considered as a last resort and the options for the use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines are described and commented. The physical management by means of mechanical restraint may be necessary in violent situations where there is risk to the patient or staff, and must meet strict criteria.


Procedures must be carefully implemented to avoid physical and emotional complications for patients and staff.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online
    Loading ...
    Support Center