Delirium is a medical condition characterized by acute disturbances in attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment and awareness. Symptoms may fluctuate during the course of a day and involve memory Memory Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory. Psychiatric Assessment deficits and disorientation Disorientation St. Louis Encephalitis Virus. There are many causes of delirium. Early recognition and accurate diagnosis constitute the 1st steps to adequate management. The primary goal of treatment is to identify and reverse the underlying cause and prevent future episodes. Pharmacotherapy is reserved for the most severe cases of agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus.
Last updated: Jul 11, 2022
The acronym “DELIRIUM” can be helpful in remembering the most common etiologies of the condition.
Based on the main types of symptoms exhibited
|Drug class||Indications||Adverse effects|
|1st-generation antipsychotics||Small dosages as needed to control severe agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus||
|Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines||
|Melatonin||Small doses at night for sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep||
|Gabapentin Gabapentin A cyclohexane-gamma-aminobutyric acid derivative that is used for the treatment of partial seizures; neuralgia; and restless legs syndrome. Second-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs||Nonopioid pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control||Sedation, peripheral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema|
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