Medication for aggression and agitation

How are treatments for aggression and agitation relevant to bipolar disorder?

Agitation and/or aggression are sometimes observed during a psychiatric emergency such as in onset of acute psychosis. Agitation typically includes irritability and restlessness, motor or verbal hyperactivity, uncooperativeness, and occasionally aggressive gestures or behaviour. This can pose a risk both to the individual, as well as the attending health care professionals, and so is important to manage this behaviour and prevent potential harm.

What is the evidence for treatments for aggression and agitation?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests intramuscular olanzapine (10mg x 2 doses + 5mg x 1 dose), inhaled loxapine (5 or 10mg), or intramuscular aripiprazole (9.75 or 15mg) are more effective at reducing agitation in people with bipolar disorder than placebo or lorazepam.

November 2021

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Last updated at: 5:29 pm, 15th February 2022
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Aggression

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