Antipsychotics Worsen Symptoms in Patients with Delirium Who Receive Palliative Care
Am Fam Physician. 2017 Mar 15;95(6):online.
Do antipsychotic drugs improve symptoms of distress associated with delirium in patients receiving palliative care?
For hospitalized patients with acute delirium and symptoms of distress who are receiving palliative care, the use of risperidone (Risperdal) or haloperidol at conservative oral doses worsens symptoms and may shorten overall survival. (Level of Evidence = 1b)
These researchers enrolled 247 hospitalized patients who were receiving palliative care and had delirium-related symptoms of distress. Patients were randomized, using concealed allocation, to receive oral risperidone, haloperidol, or placebo for 72 hours for the management of these symptoms. There were slightly more than 80 patients in each of the three arms. The initial dosage for risperidone and haloperidol was 1 mg, with maintenance dosages of 0.5 mg every 12 hours
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