Risperidone and lorazepam concomitant use in clonazepam refractory catatonia: a case report

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Dec;199(12):987-8. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182392d7e.


The DSM-IV recognizes catatonia as a subtype of schizophrenia characterized by at least two of the following: motor immobility, excessive motor activity not influenced by external stimuli, and peculiarities of voluntary movement. Catatonia may also occur secondary to mania, depression, or a general medical condition including encephalitis, focal neurological lesions, metabolic disturbances, and drug intoxications and withdrawals. Benzodiazepines remain the first line of treatment; up to 80% of patients respond promptly to Lorazepam challenge; failure to respond to lorazepam may be followed by electroconvulsive therapy. Atypical antipsychotics may be a new alternative in the treatment of catatonia. Successful reduction of the catatonic symptoms has been demonstrated with atypical antipsychotics. A possible mechanism of action for the efficacy of this class of drugs involves the antagonism of the 5-HT2A receptor. We are now reporting a case of treatment response to risperidone in a patient with chronic catatonia resistant to benzodiazepines.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catatonia / diagnosis*
  • Catatonia / drug therapy*
  • Clonazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Risperidone / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Clonazepam
  • Risperidone
  • Lorazepam