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Table 2 Selected drugs for the treatment of delirium (in alphabetical order per class)

From: SOP: treatment of delirium

drug dose   antagonism anti-psychotic sedating dementia parkinson’s caveat
Neuroleptic drugs
 clozapine 25 mg 0–0-1 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, α1 + + + + Risk of agranulocytosis
 haloperidol 1 mg 1–0-1 D2 +++ no i.v. application
 melperone 25–50 mg (1)-0–1 D2, α1 + ++ Dose depending on agitation level, available in several EU countries
 pipamperone 40 mg (1)-0–1 5-HT2A, D4, α1 + ++ + Dose depending on agitation level
 quetiapine 25–50 mg (1)-0–1 5-HT2A, D2 + ++ + + Dose depending on agitation level
 risperidone 0,5–1 mg 1–0-1 D2, 5-HT2A +++ + Dose reduction in renal insufficiency
α2-Agonists
 clonidine 1.5–2.5 μg/kg/h   α2 (agonist)   +++ + + ICU, bradycardia
 dexmedetomidine 0.7 μg/kg/h   α2 (agonist) +++ + + ICU, bradycardia, contraindication stroke
Benzodiazepines
 diazepam 5 mg prn GABAA +++ short term
 lorazepam 0.5–1 mg prn GABA +++ short term
 midazolam 7.5–15 mg prn GABAA +++ short term
 oxazepam 10 mg prn GABAA 2 +++ short term