Haloperidol vs Olanzapine for the Management of ICU Delirium

2014-07-24 14:14:31 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this randomized clinical trial is to determine whether haloperidol is superior to olanzapine for the treatment of ICU acquired delirium. The hypothesis is that haloperidol is in fact superior to olanzapine in treating ICU acquired delirium and sustaining delirium free time.


Delirium is defined as a disturbance of consciousness characterized by an acute onset of impaired cognitive function. Although delirium is thought to be common in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) there are few studies that have evaluated its incidences, risks and outcomes. It has been associated with increased morbidity, and mortality and increased cost to the healthcare system. In addition to the uncertainty of the incidence of ICU delirium, there is a lack of information about the effects that certain pharmacological treatments have on delirious patients.

The standard pharmacological treatments for ICU acquired delirium are haloperidol and olanzapine as they have been shown to be equivalent in reducing its incidence. However, optimal dose and regimen have not been well defined.

The rationale for this study is to determine whether haloperidol is superior to olanzapine in the treatment of ICU acquired delirium. A secondary objective is to determine the most appropriate dosing regimen for the treatmet. The role of alternative agents quetiapine, risperidone, loxapine and methotrimeprazine will also be examined in a preliminary analysis.

Patients who develop agitation or delirium as defined by an Intensive Care Delirium Checklist (ICDSC) score of greater than or equal to 4 meeting all the inclusion criteria and no exclusion criteria will be eligible for randomization. Once randomized they will be screened for ongoing agitation and delirium as well prolongation of the QTc interval greater than 440 msec, development of extrapyramidal symptoms and development of a seizure disorder.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Treatment




Haloperidol, Olanzapine


Halifax Infirmary; Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre
Nova Scotia




Capital District Health Authority, Canada

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:14:31-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A form of DELIRIUM which occurs after GENERAL ANESTHESIA.

Cognitive disorders including delirium, dementia, and other cognitive disorders. These may be the result of substance use, trauma, or other causes.

An acute organic mental disorder induced by cessation or reduction in chronic alcohol consumption. Clinical characteristics include CONFUSION; DELUSIONS; vivid HALLUCINATIONS; TREMOR; agitation; insomnia; and signs of autonomic hyperactivity (e.g., elevated blood pressure and heart rate, dilated pupils, and diaphoresis). This condition may occasionally be fatal. It was formerly called delirium tremens. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1175)

A spiro butyrophenone analog similar to HALOPERIDOL and other related compounds. It has been recommended in the treatment of SCHIZOPHRENIA.

A butyrophenone with general properties similar to those of HALOPERIDOL. It has been used in the treatment of aberrant sexual behavior. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p567)

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