Synergism of lorazepam and electroconvulsive therapy in the treatment of catatonia

Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Sep 1;42(5):375-81. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3223(96)00378-2.


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and lorazepam are effective treatments for catatonia. ECT combined with benzodiazepines has been associated with reduced efficacy and efficiency and therefore is not recommended in the routine practice of ECT. We report 5 prospectively identified cases of catatonia treated either sequentially or concurrently with lorazepam and ECT. In each case, the combination of lorazepam with ECT was superior to monotherapy. This apparent synergism, its possible mechanisms, and its implications for treating catatonia are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anesthesia
  • Catatonia / drug therapy
  • Catatonia / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy*
  • Female
  • GABA Modulators / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies


  • GABA Modulators
  • Lorazepam