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Droperidol found to be quickest in sedating acutely agitated patients.

NEW YORK -- Droperidol produces a significantly more rapid onset of effective sedation in patients with acute agitation of unclear etiology than does lorazepam or ziprasidone, Todd Gengerke, M.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

In a double-blind, randomized trial involving a total of 147 patients who presented to an emergency department during the 2004-2005 study period, an intramuscular injection of 5 mg of the butyrophenone antipsychotic droperidol was found to result in significantly greater sedation after 15 and 30 minutes (as measured by mean scores on the Altered Mental Status Scale) than did 10 mg or 20 mg of the atypical antipsychotic ziprasidone (Geodon) or 2 mg of the benzodiazepine lorazepam.

Each group had similar levels of sedation between 45 minutes and 2 hours after administration, according to Dr. Gengerke, who presented the study in a poster session at the meeting.

Respiratory depression occurred more often in patients who had received 20 mg of ziprasidone than in patients of the other medication groups, although the rate of hypoxia did not differ significantly between the groups, wrote Dr. Gengerke, a first-year resident in emergency medicine at the Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis.
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Title Annotation:Adult Psychiatry
Author:Evans, Jeff
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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