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Geodon effective in psychiatric emergencies; Sharply reduces time in restraints

STONY BROOK, NY, March 30, 2005 ---- A study conducted under real-world, Emergency Department conditions by researchers at Stony Brook University Hospital has found that the injectable form of the second generation antipsychotic Geodon (ziprasidone) effectively calms the most severely agitated patients. The results, published in the current issue of General Hospital Psychiatry, also suggest that it may be possible to reduce by as much as 40 percent the time severely agitated patients spend in restraints during psychiatric emergencies. Additionally, the researchers at Stony Brook University Hospital found that medication was as effective in treating the severe agitation associated with alcohol and drug use as it was in treating non-substance or alcohol abusing patients.

This observational study tracked the clinical outcome of 110 severely agitated patients who received Geodon IM (intramuscular formulation). Initial agitation levels were high, ranging from 6.5 to 6.9 on a scale that ranges from a high of 7.0 to a low of zero. Within 30 minutes, whether the patients were psychotic, or had abused alcohol or drugs, their agitation scores dropped to a normal range. In addition to quickly relieving agitation, the results of the new study showed a reduction in physical restraints. The time period severely agitated patients treated with Geodon IM were held in restraints dropped by 40 percent compared to the period prior to this study when similar agitated patients received conventional antipsychotics--primarily haloperidol, known by the brand name Haldol. For more than 50 years, Haldol IM has been considered the gold standard of injectable antipsychotics, but its side effect profile offers disadvantages for patients. Approved in 2002, Geodon IM is the first second generation antipsychotic approved for the rapid control of acute agitation in patients.

"Being held in physical restraint is not only unpleasant, it also can be unsafe," said Andrew Franc
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30-Mar-2005


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