Please confirm topic selection

Are you sure you want to trigger topic in your Anconeus AI algorithm?

Review Question - QID 210373

In scope icon M 7 B
QID 210373 (Type "210373" in App Search)
A 23-year-old woman is admitted to the inpatient psychiatry unit after her boyfriend reported she was “acting funny and refusing to talk.” The patient’s boyfriend states that he came home from work and found the patient sitting up in bed staring at the wall. When he said her name or waved his hand in front of her, she did not respond. When he tried to move her, she would remain in whatever position she was placed. Her temperature is 99°F (37.2°C), blood pressure is 122/79 mmHg, pulse is 68/min, and respirations are 12/min with an oxygen saturation of 98% on room air. The patient is lying on the bed with her left arm raised and pointing at the ceiling. She resists any attempt to change her position. The patient remains mute and ignores any external stimuli. The patient’s medical history is significant for depression. She was recently switched from phenelzine to fluoxetine. Which of the following is the most appropriate initial therapy?







Electroconvulsive therapy









Select Answer to see Preferred Response

bookmode logo Review TC In New Tab

The patient has a history of depression and is presenting with decreased motor activity, waxy flexibility, lack of response to external stimuli, and mutism, suggesting the diagnosis of catatonia. Catatonia should initially be treated with benzodiazepines like lorazepam.

Catatonia is a state of psychomotor immobility and apathy that is associated with a mood disorder or psychosis. The diagnosis is made clinically by having at least 3 of the following symptoms: stupor (no psychomotor activity), negativism (no response to external stimuli), catalepsy (muscle rigidity in a position against gravity), waxy flexibility (maintaining positioning placed by the examiner), mutism, echolalia (mimicking speech), echopraxia (mimicking movements), stereotypy, grimacing, and non-purposeful agitation or mannerisms. Initial treatment involves benzodiazepines for symptomatic relief. If the patient is unresponsive to benzodiazepines, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be used.

Francis reviews the evidence regarding the treatment of patients with catatonia. He discusses how benzodiazepines can be used with rapid improvement in symptoms. He recommends electroconvulsive therapy in refractory cases.

Incorrect Answers:
Answer 1: Benztropine and IV diphenhydramine can be used to treat an acute dystonic reaction. Dystonic reactions present as involuntary spasms or sustained contractions of the face, neck, torso, pelvis, extremities, and larynx. Medications that block dopamine D2 receptors, such as neuroleptics and antiemetics, carry the greatest risk.

Answer 2: Cyproheptadine is a serotonin antagonist that may be part of the treatment for serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome may occur as a result of the simultaneous use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It presents with myoclonus, hyperthermia, flushing, tachycardia, and delirium.

Answer 3: Electroconvulsive therapy is an effective treatment for catatonia but would be considered 2nd line to benzodiazepines for refractory cases.

Answer 4: Haloperidol is an antipsychotic, which may worsen catatonia. It can cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which can mimic catatonia.

Bullet Summary:
Catatonia can present in patients with a history of mood disorders and psychosis with symptoms of decreased motor activity, rigid posture, and mutism, and should be treated initially with a benzodiazepine.

Please Rate Question Quality


  • star icon star icon star icon
  • star icon star icon star icon
  • star icon star icon star icon
  • star icon star icon star icon
  • star icon star icon star icon


Attach Treatment Poll
Treatment poll is required to gain more useful feedback from members.
Please enter Question Text
Please enter at least 2 unique options
Please enter at least 2 unique options
Please enter at least 2 unique options