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Acute alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for suicide, therefore
investigating factors associated with alcohol-related self-harm warrant
To investigate the influence of prescribed psychotropic medications on
the odds of co-ingesting alcohol preceding or during intentional efforts
A cross-sectional analysis of consecutive hospital presentations
following intentional self-poisoning was conducted. A total of 7270
patients (4363 women) aged 18–96 were included.
The odds of alcohol co-ingestion were increased in those not prescribed
any medication (odds ratio (OR) = 1.27, 99% CI 1.10–1.46, P50.001) and in
impulsive self-poisonings (OR= 1.39, 99% CI 1.11–1.74, P50.001). Odds
were decreased in those prescribed anticonvulsants (OR = 0.69, 99% CI
0.51–0.93), antipsychotics (OR = 0.55, 99% CI 0.45–0.66) and
antidepressants (OR = 0.87, 99% CI 0.77–0.99).
Findings indicate that being medicated for a psychiatric illness may
reduce the likelihood of alcohol consumption during times of acute
distress, hence perhaps may reduce the risk of intentional
Agitation and aggression are significant problems in acute psychiatric
units. There is little consensus on which drug is most effective and
safest for sedation of these patients.
To compare the effectiveness and safety of haloperidol
v. droperidol for patients with agitation and
In a masked, randomised controlled trial (ACTRN12611000565943)
intramuscular droperidol (10 mg) was compared with intramuscular
haloperidol (10 mg) for adult patients with acute behavioural disturbance
in a psychiatric intensive care unit. The primary outcome was time to
sedation within 120 min. Secondary outcomes were use of additional
sedation, adverse events and staff injuries.
From 584 patients, 110 were randomised to haloperidol and 118 to
droperidol. Effective sedation occurred in 210 (92%) patients within 120
min. There was no significant difference in median time to sedation: 20
min (interquartile range 15–30, range 10–75) for haloperidol
v. 25 min (IQR 15–30, range 10–115) for droperidol
(P = 0.89). Additional sedation was used more often
with haloperidol (13% v. 5%, P = 0.06),
but adverse effects were less common with haloperidol (1%
v. 5%, P = 0.12). There were 8 staff
Both haloperidol and droperidol were effective for sedation of patients
with acute behavioural disturbance.
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