The agitated patient.

S. Shevitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The emergency management of the agitated patient is a common medical problem. Agitated behavior is not a diagnosis but a descriptive term; the initial task of the physician involves determining the etiology of the behavioral disturbance and evaluating the possible contribution of organic factors. Such factors as age of onset, acuteness of onset, concurrent illness, evidence of delirium or dementia, or use of exogenous pharmacologic agents require careful evaluation. Agitated patients will generally fall into one of four diagnostic categories: agitation precipitated by drug intoxication, agitation precipitated by drug withdrawal, agitation precipitated by an organic brain syndrome, or agitation precipitated by a functional disorder. Appropriate pharmacological and psychological management techniques for these situations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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