10000042 J Clin Psychiatry / Document Archive

Psychiatrist.com Home    Keyword Search

Close [X]

Search Our Sites

Enter search terms below (keywords, titles, authors, or subjects). Then select a category to search and press the Search button. All words are assumed to be required. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. To exclude a term, precede it with a minus sign (-).

Keyword search:

Choose a category:

Choosing the appropriate category will greatly improve your chances of finding the best match.

All files at our sites: J Clin Psychiatry, Primary Care Companion, CME Institute, and MedFair

Search materials from our journals:

Abstracts from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements

PDFs of the full text of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements (Net Society Platinum [paid subscribers])

PDFs of the full text of The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1999–present

Search CME offerings:

CME Institute, including CME from journals , supplements, and Web activities for instant CME credit (Net Society Gold [registered users]); also includes information about our CME program

CME activities from regular issues of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])

CME Supplements from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])


The article you requested is

A Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Droperidol for the Rapid Sedation of Severely Agitated and Violent Patients

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64:500-505
Copyright 2003 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

To view this item, select one of the options below.

    1. Purchase this PDF for $40
      If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
      (You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
    2. Subscribe
      Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP print + online for $166 individual.
      JCP's 75th AnniversaryCelebrate!
      Celebrate JCP's 75th Anniversary with a special online-only subscription price of $75.
    1. Activate
      If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
    2. Sign in
      As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
  1. Did you forget your password?

Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send an email


Background: Droperidol had become a standard treatment for sedating severely agitated or violent patients in both psychiatric and medical emergency departments. However, several recent articles have suggested that droperidol may have a quinidine-like effect similar to that of thioridazine in inducing dysrhythmia.

Method: In view of the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) position regarding the use of thioridazine, the authors reviewed the literature regarding droperidol and dysrhythmia in a MEDLINE search for the years 1960-2002 using the search terms droperidol, dysrhythmia, QTc interval, and sudden death as well as their own experience in using droperidol in a busy psychiatric emergency department. This review was done before the FDA's very recent and peremptory warning about droperidol.

Results: The authors report that, in treating approximately 12,000 patients over the past decade, they have never experienced a clinically significant adverse dysrhythmic event using droperidol to sedate severely agitated or violent patients.

Conclusion: The authors conclude that, in clinical practice, droperidol is an extremely effective and safe method for treating severely agitated or violent patients. While in theory droperidol may prolong the QT interval to an extent similar to thioridazine, in clinical use there is no pattern of sudden deaths analogous to those that provoked the FDA warning about thioridazine.