Please note: Everyone is unique and this is only a guide!

This guide is different from the others in the series as it is not designed to help people choose their medication, as in an acute emergency this will not be appropriate. We have put this together to help relatives and carers to know what the choices are, why certain medicines might be used, the usual doses and what might then happen. There are many other ways that someone can be helped in an emergency and medication should be used to help, not just to be the only treatment. It might also help if you putting together an Advance Directive.

We hope you take this guide in the way in which it is intended i.e. an honest attempt to inform, educate and help.

What the sections in the table mean: Medicine – these are the main medicines used to help manage an acute psychiatric emergency, and a few others that are sometimes used.

  • These first medicines are those that NICE (National institute for Clinical Excellence) in England has included in their most recent guidelines
  • We have listed them as their “generic name” (the name of the actual medicine). We have also mentioned the trade name where possible This is only a short guide. Please see the rest of our website for more details

What it does – some medicines are more useful for psychosis, some for agitation and mania, and some for both. Some are better just at calming and reducing aggression or distress.

How we think it might work – this is how we think the medicine works in the brain to help an acute emergency. There is more about this on the website. Taking two medicines with the same way of working doesn’t help much. However, in an emergency, using two medicines that work indifferent ways often works much better e.g. quicker and with less side effects. An anti-psychotic and a benzodiazepine together often give a quicker and better effect, and usually means lower doses of both can be
used.

Please download the attached document for more information 

The information we share is to help inform you, If you have any questions or concerns please discuss them with your nurse, doctor, other members of your care team or an advocate