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Psychopharmacology and Psychiatry Updates

Oct 30, 2018

Today’s question is: How to manage an agitated patient?

Here is a summary of this episode:

  • Antipsychotics are the mainstay of treatment; addressing psychotic agitation as well as treating delirium. Haloperidol is best combined with a benzodiazepine, showing both high efficacy and low side effect profile.
  • There are currently no FDA-approved oral regimens for agitation. However, there are orally disintegrating formulations of olanzapine, aripiprazole and risperidone. Asenapine is available in a sublingual formulation which requires more patient cooperation.
  • Benzodiazepines have anxiolytic and sedating effects but can produce behavioral disinhibition and cognitive impairment in patients with dementia.