Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446
BALDACARA, Leonardo; SANCHES, Marsal; CORDEIRO, Daniel Cruz and JACKOWSKI, Andrea Parolin. Rapid tranquilization for agitated patients in emergency psychiatric rooms: a randomized trial of olanzapine, ziprasidone, haloperidol plus promethazine, haloperidol plus midazolam and haloperidol alone. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.1, pp. 30-39. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462011000100008.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of intramuscular olanzapine, ziprasidone, haloperidol plus promethazine, haloperidol plus midazolam and haloperidol alone as the first medication(s) used to treat patients with agitation and aggressive behavior. METHOD: One hundred fifty patients with agitation caused by psychotic or bipolar disorder were randomly assigned under double-blind conditions to receive olanzapine, ziprasidone, haloperidol plus midazolam, haloperidol plus promethazine or haloperidol alone. The Overt Agitation Severity Scale, Overt Aggression Scale and Ramsay Sedation Scale were applied within 12 hours after the first dosage. RESULTS: All medications produced a calming effect within one hour of administration, but only olanzapine and haloperidol reduced agitation by less than 10 points, and only olanzapine reduced aggression by less than four points in the first hour. After twelve hours, only patients treated with haloperidol plus midazolam had high levels of agitation and aggression and also more side effects. Ziprasidone, olanzapine and haloperidol alone had more stable results for agitation control, while ziprasidone, haloperidol plus promethazine and olanzapine had stable results for aggression control. CONCLUSION: Olanzapine, ziprasidone, haloperidol plus promethazine, haloperidol plus midazolam and haloperidol were effective in controlling agitation and aggression caused by mental illness over 12 hours. Although all the drugs had advantages and disadvantages, haloperidol plus midazolam was associated with the worst results in all the observed parameters.
Keywords : Psychomotor agitation; Psychotic disorders; Antipsychotic agents; Emergencies; Tranquilizing agents [adverse effects].