Role of Ramelteon in Reduction of As-Needed Antipsychotics in Elderly Patients with Delirium in a General Hospital Setting

Aaron Pinkhasov, Sara A. James, Melissa Fazzari, Deepan Singh, Sum Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Abnormalities in melatonin levels have been linked to delirium. This dysregulation may be offset with the use of ramelteon, a melatonin receptor agonist. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of ramelteon in decreasing the need for as-needed (PRN) use of antipsychotics in elderly patients with delirium. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective study involving 488 patients who were placed on constant observation and received care by psychiatric service from May 2015 through October 2015. Of these patients, 125 patients were age 65 years or above, had a diagnosis of delirium, and had no standing orders for antipsychotics. These 125 patients were divided into the non-ramelteon group (who received no ramelteon and PRN antipsychotics) and the ramelteon group (who received ramelteon plus PRN antipsychotics). The use of PRN antipsychotics for agitation in each group was recorded. Results: The ramelteon group had a lower incidence of PRN antipsychotic use compared to those not given ramelteon (60 vs. 80%, p value = 0.001). After adjustment for race, age, length of stay, and gender, patients in the non-ramelteon group were more likely to have been given antipsychotics compared to those in the ramelteon group (odds ratio = 4.3, p value = 0.002). Conclusion: Ramelteon use in elderly patients with delirium may be associated with statistically significant reduction of PRN antipsychotic use for agitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1141
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Drug Investigation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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