Cocaine-associated agitated delirium and the neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Charles V. Wetli, Deborah Mash, Steven B. Karch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


The incidence of this previously rare disorder, cocaine-associated agitated delirium, appears to have increased drastically within the last 18 months. The underlying neurochemical abnormalities have recently been characterized, but most clinicians have had little experience with management of agitated delirium. The basic clinical and pathological features of this disorder are reviewed, and common pitfalls in diagnosis and management that frequently lead to needless but very expensive litigation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-428
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • 'hog-tied'
  • Agitated delirium
  • cocaine
  • dopamine receptors
  • positional asphyxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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