Psychomotor Agitation
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Psychomotor Agitation
Psychomotor agitation
Classification and external resources
Specialty Psychiatry, emergency medicine
ICD-9-CM 308.2
MeSH D011595

Psychomotor agitation is a set of signs and symptoms that stem from mental tension and anxiety. The signs are unintentional and purposeless motions; the symptoms are emotional distress and restlessness. Typical manifestations include pacing around a room, wringing the hands, uncontrolled tongue movement, pulling off clothing and putting it back on, and other similar actions. In more severe cases, the motions may become harmful to the individual, such as ripping, tearing, or chewing at the skin around one's fingernails, lips, or other body parts to the point of bleeding. Psychomotor agitation is typically found in major depressive disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder, and sometimes the manic phase in bipolar disorder, though it can also be a result of an excess intake of stimulants. It can also be caused by severe hyponatremia. The middle-aged and the elderly are more at risk to express it.


Causes include:[1]


Intramuscular midazolam, lorazepam, or another benzodiazepine can be used to both sedate agitated patients, and control semi-involuntary muscle movements in cases of suspected akathisia.

Droperidol, haloperidol, or other typical antipsychotics can decrease the duration of agitation caused by acute psychosis, but should be avoided if the agitation is suspected to be akathisia, which can be potentially worsened.[4] Also using promethazine may be useful.[5]Recently, three atypical antipsychotics, olanzapine, aripiprazole and ziprasidone, have become available and FDA approved as an instant release intramuscular injection formulations to control acute agitation. The IM formulations of these three atypical antipsychotics to be at least as effective or even more effective than the IM administration of haloperidol alone or haloperidol with lorazepam[6][7][8] (which is the standard treatment of agitation in most hospitals) and the atypicals have a dramatically improved tolerability due to a milder side-effect profile.

In those with psychosis causing agitation there is a lack of support for the use of benzodiazepines alone, however they are commonly used in combination with antipsychotics since they can prevent side effects associated with dopamine antagonists.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Causes of Psychomotor agitation Archived 2016-03-11 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved 11th March 2016.
  2. ^ Koenig, AM; Arnold, SE; Streim, JE (January 2016). "Agitation and Irritability in Alzheimer's Disease: Evidenced-Based Treatments and the Black-Box Warning". Current psychiatry reports. 18 (1): 3. doi:10.1007/s11920-015-0640-7. PMID 26695173. 
  3. ^ "Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP)". American Porphyria Foundation. 2009-02-18. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ Isbister GK, Calver LA, Page CB, Stokes B, Bryant JL, Downes MA (October 2010). "Randomized controlled trial of intramuscular droperidol versus midazolam for violence and acute behavioral disturbance: the DORM study". Ann Emerg Med. 56 (4): 392-401.e1. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2010.05.037. PMID 20868907. 
  5. ^ Ostinelli, EG; Brooke-Powney, MJ; Li, X; Adams, CE (31 July 2017). "Haloperidol for psychosis-induced aggression or agitation (rapid tranquillisation)". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 7: CD009377. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009377.pub3. PMID 28758203. 
  6. ^ Huang, Charles Lung-Cheng; Hwang, Tzung-Jeng; Chen, Yi-Hsing; Huang, Guan-Hua; Hsieh, Ming H.; Chen, Hsiu-Hsi; Hwu, Hai-Gwo (2015-5). "Intramuscular olanzapine versus intramuscular haloperidol plus lorazepam for the treatment of acute schizophrenia with agitation: An open-label, randomized controlled trial". Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan Yi Zhi. 114 (5): 438-445. doi:10.1016/j.jfma.2015.01.018. ISSN 0929-6646. PMID 25791540.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Citrome, L.; Brook, S.; Warrington, L.; Loebel, A.; Mandel, F.S. (2004-10). "Ziprasidone versus haloperidol for the treatment of agitation". Annals of Emergency Medicine. 44 (4): S22. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2004.07.073. ISSN 0196-0644.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Cañas, Fernando (2007-03). "Management of agitation in the acute psychotic patient -- Efficacy without excessive sedation". European Neuropsychopharmacology. 17: S108-S114. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2007.02.004. ISSN 0924-977X.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Gillies, D; Sampson, S; Beck, A; Rathbone, J (Apr 30, 2013). "Benzodiazepines for psychosis-induced aggression or agitation". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 4: CD003079. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003079.pub3. PMID 23633309. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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