Rapid tranquillisation in children and adolescents

Dr Jose Mediavilla, Dr Paul Tiffin and Dr Melanie Willetts

60 minutes


December 2019

Learning module

CPD domain:

Rapid tranquillisation in children and adolescents.jpg

Rapid tranquillisation (RT) is defined as ‘the use of psychotropic medication to control agitation, threatening or destructive psychotic behaviour’ (Ellison et al, 1989).

In 2005 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published clinical practice guidelines titled Violence: The short-term management of disturbed/violent behaviour in in-patient psychiatric settings and emergency departments (NICE, 2005). People under the age of 16 were originally excluded from this guidance, however an update published in 2015 includes some discussion around the use of RT in children and young people (NICE, 2015).

The guidelines stress a patient-centred approach and recommend that where possible, other approaches should be used to avert an escalation in aggression. RT should only be used where other approaches have failed.

This module will help you understand how to manage violence in young people and adolescents specifically within an in-patient setting and learn about RT guidance for this age group, including the different classes of medication used in RT and their routes of administration. You will also learn about post-RT monitoring and be aware of special circumstances that require additional consideration when RT is used. When aggression occurs within a community setting, please refer to local health, safety and security policy.


Log in to see options tailored to you