Haldol, Ativan, and Versed... oh my.
In the Emergency Department, some patients present very acutely and aggressively agitated. This is usually the result of illicit drug use or a schizophrenic who hasn't been taking medications (or both!). Fortunately, we have an arsenal of medications to help sedate the patient, as reviewed in a previous Tricks of the Trade post.
One study looked to answer the question of what single IM sedation agent is most effective, as measured by the shortest time to sedation and time to arousal.
Nobay F, Simon B, Levitt M, Dresden G. A Prospective, Double-blind, Randomized Trial of Midazolam versus Haloperidol versus Lorazepam in the Chemical Restraint of Violent and Severely Agitated Patients Academic Emergency Medicine. 2004, 11(7): 744-9. DOI: 10.1197/j.aem.2003.06.015