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Rationale and Guidelines for the Inpatient Treatment of Acute Psychosis

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(suppl 14):27-32

For patients hospitalized with acute episodes of psychosis, rapid stabilization of intense positive symptoms, hostility, and agitation is typically a preeminent therapeutic goal. These goals often differ from those of the nonhospitalized patient with psychosis for whom long-term treatment goals such as improvement of negative symptoms, cognitive function, compliance, and reduction in side effect burden may be paramount. Therefore, when selecting an antipsychotic treatment for hospitalized patients, efficacy against positive symptoms and hostility as well as speed of therapeutic onset should strongly be considered. At the same time, selection of antipsychotic treatment in the inpatient setting should establish a definitive treatment that will address long-term goals effectively after discharge. This article presents the rationale and practical guidelines for selection of treatment regimens for patients hospitalized due to acute psychosis.