Trazodone and Mianserin for Delirium: A Retrospective Chart Review

Sayoko Kawano, Kentaro Ide, Keisuke Kodama, Yuhei Kikuchi, Hiromori Sugihara, Daisuke Fujisawa, Hiroyuki Uchida, Masaru Mimura, Hiroyoshi Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background Although antipsychotics are commonly used for delirium, their adverse effects are a serious concern in light of extrapyramidal symptoms and cardiovascular disturbances. In clinical practice, sedative antidepressants are frequently used as an alternative treatment for delirium; however, there is scarce evidence. Thus, we conducted a retrospective chart review to examine the use and effectiveness of trazodone and mianserin for delirium. Methods Patients who were admitted to a university hospital during 4 years and received either trazodone or mianserin on a regular schedule as monotherapy for the treatment of delirium were included. The rates of and times to the improvement of delirium were compared. Results Among 3971 patients who developed delirium, 379 (9.5%) and 341 (8.6%) patients received trazodone and mianserin on a regular schedule; 52 and 46 patients met the eligibility criteria (ie, monotherapy) for trazodone and mianserin, respectively. The percentages of patients 65 years or older were 86.5% (n=45) for trazodone and 89.1% (n=41) for mianserin. The rates of the improvement of delirium were 63.5% for trazodone and 50.0% for mianserin. Times to the improvement of delirium were 5.3 days (95% confidence interval, 3.2-7.4 days) for trazodone and 9.3 days (95% confidence interval, 5.3-13.3 days) for mianserin. There were no significant differences in the primary outcomes between the 2 groups (P=0.17 and P=0.13, respectively). Conclusion Considering potentially serious, sometimes lethal, adverse effects of antipsychotics, sedative antidepressants such as trazodone and mianserin may be a treatment option for delirium, especially in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-564
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov 1


  • antidepressants
  • delirium
  • elderly
  • mianserin
  • trazodone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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