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Am J Emerg Med. 1989 May;7(3):313-20.

Rapid tranquilization of the violent patient.

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Philadelphia Psychiatric Center, PA.


Agitated, psychotic patients with the potential for violence pose significant management problems for emergency department staff. With the advent of rapid tranquilization (RT), clinicians were offered a safe, effective method for controlling such patients, eliminating the need for restraints or seclusion rooms. While RT is regarded as a major treatment innovation in psychiatry, nonpsychiatrists are reluctant or unaware of the uses of antipsychotic medication as it pertains to RT. This article provides a brief overview of the pharmacokinetics of antipsychotic medication and reviews the following aspects of RT: route of administration, dosing, time intervals between doses, side effects, and alternative medications for RT. The authors also offer practical guidelines for RT use in the emergency department.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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