Living FRIendly Summaries of the Body of Evidence using Epistemonikos (FRISBEE)
Medwave 2021;21(04):e8168 doi: 10.5867/medwave.2021.04.8168

Atypical antipsychotics for delirium in hospitalized patients

Daniza Belén Bilicic Ubierna, Nicolás Cattarinich Schiffrin, Daniela Coronel Cárdenas, Rubén Soto Munizaga, José Miguel Bernucci Piedra


For the pharmacotherapy of delirium in elderly adults who are hospitalized, atypical antipsychotics are used. Currently, there is insufficient evidence on the effectiveness of this treatment in low complexity units.

We searched in Epistemonikos, the largest database of systematic reviews in health, which is maintained by screening multiple information sources, including MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, among others. We extracted data from the systematic reviews, reanalyzed data of primary studies, conducted a meta-analysis, and generated a summary of findings table using the GRADE approach.

Results and conclusions
We identified 13 systematic reviews that included three randomized trials. We concluded that the use of atypical antipsychotics in hospitalized patients likely increases the risk of mortality compared to placebo and could decrease the response rate associated with reducing the risk of adverse effects. Furthermore, using atypical antipsychotics probably results in low or no difference in the severity of delirium.


This article does not have an English version available.

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