Background: Catatonia is a syndrome characterized by concurrent motor, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Short-term benzodiazepine administration and electroconvulsive therapy have proven to be safe and useful for treatment of this syndrome.
Aims: This study aimed to explore the evidence of effectiveness of lorazepam as a first line treatment for catatonia in a tertiary psychiatry centre in India given the lack of facilities for ECT in primary care centers of developing countries. We examined the response rate of lorazepam in Catatonia.
Methodology: Clinical charts of 107 inpatients, admitted over a duration of two years, with a primary diagnosis of catatonia were examined for response with lorazepam trial. Trial was considered as having received 3-6 mg per day of lorazepam for at least 3 days.
Results: Among the patients who were given lorazepam treatment, 32 out of 99 (32.3%) showed response (with complete resolution of catatonic symptoms). Improvement in catatonic symptoms was seen in 68 out of 99 (68.7%) patients.
Conclusions: Lorazepam is cost effective and could rapidly relieve catatonic signs, even without the use of ECT in a significant proportion of catatonic patients. Its early use can prevent disease progression and complications.
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