Use of antipsychotics and/or benzodiazepines as rapid tranquilization in inpatients of mental facilities and emergency departments: a review of the clinical effectiveness and guidelines

Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
Record ID 32011001203
Authors' recommendations: There is a lack of primary studies evaluating the clinical efficacy of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines for rapid tranquilization of inpatients of mental facilities and ED. In the available literature, both benzodiazepines and antipsychotics seem to be effective in mediating the symptoms of agitation and/or aggression. Guidelines and clinical practice vary on the choice of drugs used for rapid tranquilization in mental facilities and the ED, with some recommendations largely based on consensus statements and observational data. From the literature, it seems that where rapid tranquilization is needed, a combination of an IM antipsychotic (haloperidol) and an IM benzodiazepine (lorazepam) are recommended. Consideration of other agents such as olanzapine and risperidone were also reported. The limited available data on the use of antipsychotics and/or benzodiazepines for rapid tranquilization may be a consideration for decision-making.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2010
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Canada
MeSH Terms
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Inpatients
  • Tranquilizing Agents
Organisation Name: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
Contact Address: 600-865 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1S 5S8 Canada. Tel: +1 613 226 2553; Fax: +1 613 226 5392;
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Copyright: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
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