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World J Psychiatry. 2016 Sep 22;6(3):365-71. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v6.i3.365. eCollection 2016 Sep 22.

Comparative effectiveness of quetiapine and haloperidol in delirium: A single blind randomized controlled study.

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Sandeep Grover, Sudhir Mahajan, Subho Chakrabarti, Ajit Avasthi, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India.



To evaluate the effectiveness of quetiapine and haloperidol in patients of delirium referred to psychiatry consultation liaison services.


The study followed a single blind randomised controlled trial design. Thirty-two patients in the haloperidol group and 31 patients in the quetiapine group were assessed at the baseline and 6 consecutive days. Flexible dosing regimen (haloperidol: 0.25-1.25 mg; quetiapine 12.5-75 mg/d) was used. Delirium Rating Scale-Revised-98 (DRS-R-98) and mini mental status examination (MMSE) were the primary and secondary efficacy measures respectively.


Baseline DRS-R-98 severity score and MMSE scores did not differ between the 2 study groups. From baseline to day 6, there was significant reduction in the total DRS-R-98 scores, DRS-R-98 cognitive domain scores, DRS-R-98 non-cognitive domain scores and significant increase in the MMSE scores in both the groups. Both the groups did not differ on any of the assessments in terms of DRS-R98 and MMSE scores. The effectiveness of both the medications was similar in adult and elderly (≥ 60 years) patients. At the end of the trial, 68.75% and 67.74% of subjects in the haloperidol and quetiapine group respectively had mean DRS-R-98 scores below 10. By 6(th) day, 12 (37.5%) patients in haloperidol group and 9 (29.03%) patients in the quetiapine group had DRS-R98 score of "0" with no significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.47).


Quetiapine is as effective as haloperidol in the management of delirium.


Atypical antipsychotics; Delirium; Effectiveness; Quetiapine

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