Are Antipsychotics Helpful for Preventing or Treating Delirium

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The pathophysiology of delirium is complex and includes an imbalance between acetylcholine and dopamine neurotransmitters (Trzepacz, 2000). Given that antipsychotics are thought to decrease dompaminergic activity and reduce agitation, clinicans have used these medications for preventing or treating delirium.  However, when initiated for delirium in the hospital, antipsychotics have the potential for short and long-term side affects, especially with unintentional continuation beyond hospital discharge (Loh et al., 2016).  Hence the current authors sought to synthesize data on the benefits and harms of antipsychotics for preventing and treating delirium via a systematic review, conducted as part of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Effective Healthcare Programme.

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Contributed by: Delirium
Authored by: Journal of Gerontological Nursing
Licence: More information on licences
Last updated: 29 December 2020
First contributed: 22 September 2020
Audience access level: Full user


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