Immediate Effect of Intravenous Diazepam in Neuroleptic-Induced Acute Akathisia: An Open-Label Study
J Clin Psychiatry 2002;63(6):524-527
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akathisia can be severely distressing to some patients,
and rapid treatment would be preferable. However, there have been relatively few studies
conducted regarding the rapid treatment of akathisia.
The effect of intravenous diazepam at the
beginning of treatment for akathisia was studied in an
open clinical trial.
Method: The subjects were 18 patients
with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder (DSM-IV
criteria) who developed neuroleptic-induced acute akathisia during antipsychotic medication
and who required immediate relief from the
distress of akathisia. Diazepam was given
intravenously to the patients at a rate of 5 mg per 30 seconds.
Results: All 18 subjects experienced
immediate relief from akathisia after the injection
of diazepam (mean±SD dose=12.6±2.6 mg; range, 10-17 mg). They reported no serious
Conclusion: The results suggest that
intravenous diazepam could be used in the treatment
of patients with severely distressing akathisia
who require immediate relief.