7 doctors weighed in:
How is delirium treated?
7 doctors weighed in

Dr. Shabbir Hossain
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Treat cause
Delireum can be caused by alot of things.
Infection, medication, anesthesia? It's a pretty long list. You have to treat the underlying cause.

In brief: Treat cause
Delireum can be caused by alot of things.
Infection, medication, anesthesia? It's a pretty long list. You have to treat the underlying cause.
Dr. Shabbir Hossain
Dr. Shabbir Hossain
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Jeff Seaman
We prefer to use the term precipitant. Causality is reserved for scientifically-proven etiology which we do not have in acute-brain failure delirium. There are modifiable precipitants (i.e. anti-cholinergic meds, UTI, hypoxia) and non-modifiable (age, brain atrophy). Drug or alcohol withdrawal delirium is a different beast biologically and is addressed accordingly.
Dr. Jeff Seaman
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Depends
Delirium due to alcohol or drug withdrawal is treated differently than delirium (acute brain failure).
If due to "acute brain failure", we look for modifiable precipitants to address while also understanding the innate vulnerabilities to delirium that a person may have. Specialists with board-certification in psychosomatic medicine, as well as the ICU doctors at vanderbilt are resources.

In brief: Depends
Delirium due to alcohol or drug withdrawal is treated differently than delirium (acute brain failure).
If due to "acute brain failure", we look for modifiable precipitants to address while also understanding the innate vulnerabilities to delirium that a person may have. Specialists with board-certification in psychosomatic medicine, as well as the ICU doctors at vanderbilt are resources.
Dr. Jeff Seaman
Dr. Jeff Seaman
Thank
Dr. Maureen Nash
Psychiatry - Geriatric
In brief: Search for cause
First, search for and treat the underlying cause, reorient the person frequently, reassure and educate families, keep the person hydrated, get the person out of bed if possible, avoid medications known to make things worse.
Antipsychotic medications have been shown to treat and prevent delirium.

In brief: Search for cause
First, search for and treat the underlying cause, reorient the person frequently, reassure and educate families, keep the person hydrated, get the person out of bed if possible, avoid medications known to make things worse.
Antipsychotic medications have been shown to treat and prevent delirium.
Dr. Maureen Nash
Dr. Maureen Nash
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Donald Jacobson
I went through delirium once. It was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. Thank God for Abilify!
Read more answers from doctors