February 22, 2021

Background: Emergency Medicine clinicians must be adept in the management of the agitated patient. While verbal de-escalation techniques should be attempted, they are often inadequate. The next option after attempts at verbal de-escalation is chemical restraint with medications to help with a more rapid decline in agitation. Although it is agreed that IM antipsychotics or benzodiazepines are first line medications to treat agitation, there is no consensus on any one single agent. The big question therefore, still remains however of what medications should we use and at what dose? There are numerous papers investigating the utility of various medications. Today, we look at a comparison of droperidol, ziprasidone and lorazepam.