Quetiapine as treatment for delirium in critically ill children: A case series

J Pediatr Intensive Care. 2013 Sep;2(3):121-126. doi: 10.3233/PIC-13060.


Delirium occurs in a substantial number of critically ill children and may contribute to increased hospital length of stay, and short- and long-term morbidity. Children with delirium may benefit from early pharmacologic treatment. In this case series, we describe four critically ill children, ranging from eight months to 14 years of age, who were prescribed quetiapine as treatment for delirium. In all four patients, delirium improved within 24 hours of initiation of quetiapine. With proven efficacy in adults with delirium, an established track record in children for indications other than delirium, and a favorable safety profile, quetiapine may be a therapeutic option in treating delirium in critically ill children. The time has come for a prospective, blinded study of quetiapine as treatment for pediatric delirium.

Keywords: Delirium; critical care; pediatrics; quetiapine; treatment.