Parenteral lorazepam versus parenteral haloperidol for the control of psychotic disruptive behavior

J Clin Psychiatry. 1991 Apr;52(4):177-80.


In a double-blind, prospective study, 2 mg of intramuscular lorazepam and 5 mg of intramuscular haloperidol were equally effective in controlling aggression, agitation, and assaultive behavior. Although lorazepam and haloperidol produced an equivalent mean decrease in aggression, significantly more subjects who received lorazepam had a greater decrease in aggression ratings than haloperidol recipients; this effect was independent of sedation. Lorazepam produced significantly fewer extrapyramidal symptoms. These data support the current clinical practice of using lorazepam (alone, or in combination with a neuroleptic) for control of acute aggressive and assaultive behavior.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aggression / drug effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Haloperidol / administration & dosage*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Lorazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Haloperidol
  • Lorazepam