Antipsychotic drugs may not be effective against delirium

A recent review of the medical literature does not support the use of antipsychotic medications for preventing or treating delirium in hospitalized patients.

Investigators analyzed 19 relevant studies. In seven studies comparing antipsychotics with placebo or no treatment for prevention in postoperative patients, there was no significant effect on delirium incidence. Using data reported from all 19 studies including medical and surgical patient populations, antipsychotic use was not associated with change in delirium duration, severity, hospital length of stay, or mortality. There was considerable variability in design and outcome measures among studies, however.

"When we combine all available evidence right now, there is no compelling signal to support the routine use of to reduce delirium," said Dr. Karin Neufeld, co-author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.

Explore further

Delirium is common in older gastrointestinal surgery patients

More information: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Antipsychotic drugs may not be effective against delirium (2016, March 23) retrieved 21 September 2021 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors