Objective: Delirium is one of the most common complications in patients admitted
to intensive care units (ICUs). Delirium is a definite cause for more extended hospital
stays, higher mortality rates, and possibly persistent cognitive decline in the future.
Antipsychotics have been frequently evaluated as first drugs of choice, but the most
appropriate, evidence-based treatment is yet to be discovered. This study aims to compare
the efficacy of haloperidol and olanzapine in patients admitted to our toxicology ICU.
Methods: This double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial was undertaken on 35 ICU
admitted patients with delirium in Loghman Hakim hospital in Tehran, Iran. The diagnosis
was based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
(DSM-V) criteria for delirium, and clinical toxicologists included the patients according
to the study’s inclusion and exclusion criteria. Patients received either haloperidol or
olanzapine based on computerized randomization. The severity of delirium was measured
with the Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale (MDAS) scoring on days 0 and 3 of ICUadmission.
Results: The total sample size was 35 in which 16 patients received haloperidol, and 19
patients received olanzapine. The doses of haloperidol and olanzapine were 3 mg three
times a day and 5 mg three times a day, respectively. There was no significant difference in
baseline characteristics and the scores of MDAS between groups.
Conclusion: Olanzapine and haloperidol have the same efficacy in the management
of delirium in toxicology ICU-admitted patients. They can be interchangeably used for
delirium treatment in these patients