Lorazepam and diazepam rapidly relieve catatonic features in major depression

Clin Neuropharmacol. 2006 May-Jun;29(3):144-7. doi: 10.1097/01.WNF.0000221908.56361.C7.


We have proved that a modified strategy (ie, lorazepam intramuscular injection [IMI] or diazepam intravenous drip [IVD] if lorazepam IMI fails) can rapidly relieve catatonic features in patients with schizophrenia. During a period of 3 years, we identified 7 major depressive patients with catatonic features in the emergency unit of a general hospital. The patients were treated with lorazepam IMI (dose, 2 mg/mL.per ampule) once or twice during the first 2 hours. If lorazepam IMI failed, diazepam IVD (dose, 10 mg/2 mL.per ampule) in 500 mL normal saline every 8 hours for 1 day would be administered. The total complete remission rate to lorazepam IMI within 2 hours was 6 (85.7%) per 7 patients, and the total complete remission rate to benzodiazepines (lorazepam IMI and diazepam IVD) within 1 day was 7 (100%) of all 7 patients. These results highly suggest that this modified strategy can also rapidly relieve catatonic features in major depression within 1 day and attain a high complete remission rate, even without electroconvulsive therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catatonia / complications
  • Catatonia / drug therapy*
  • Catatonia / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors


  • Lorazepam
  • Diazepam