Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


Violence in the psychiatric setting may be perpetrated by patients with a variety of diagnoses including character disorders, episodic dyscontrol syndromes, and drug or alcohol intoxication. The violent behavior of aggressive psychotic patients is typically the most bizarre, unpredictable, and the least responsive to intervention with neuroleptics or lithium carbonate. Carbamazepine, an established anticonvulsant, has achieved growing prominence as an adjunctive measure in treatment of the violent psychotic. This paper will review the literature and summarize the posited pharmacological mechanisms, reported side effects, and clinical experience with carbamazepine in controlling the symptoms of violence and aggression in psychosis.

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