POEMs

Stop Using Antipsychotics to Treat or Prevent Delirium—They Are No Better Than Placebo

 


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Am Fam Physician. 2016 Aug 15;94(4):318-319.

Clinical Question

Are antipsychotic medications effective in preventing or treating delirium in hospitalized patients?

Bottom Line

The available data indicate that antipsychotic medications are ineffective in preventing or treating delirium in hospitalized patients. Because there are concerns about falls and extrapyramidal effects with antipsychotics (not reported in this study), we should stop using them. (Level of Evidence = 1a−)

Synopsis

These authors searched several databases and a clinical trials registry to identify randomized trials and cohort studies that evaluated the use of antipsychotic medications for preventing or treating delirium in hospitalized adults. Two authors independently

POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by EssentialEvidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.

For definitions of levels of evidence used in POEMs, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com/product/ebm_loe.cfm?show=oxford.

To subscribe to a free podcast of these and other POEMs that appear in AFP, search in iTunes for “POEM of the Week” or go to http://goo.gl/3niWXb.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.

A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.



 

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