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Acute Delirium

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is acute delirium?

Acute delirium is temporary confusion and change in consciousness. Consciousness is how alert and aware of your surroundings you are. You may have trouble remembering, listening, or doing things you usually do.

What causes or increases my risk for acute delirium?

What are the signs and symptoms of acute delirium?

Your symptoms may come and go quickly. You may feel better at times and worse at other times. You or someone close to you may notice any of the following:

How is acute delirium diagnosed?

Healthcare providers will ask when symptoms started. They will need to know about any recent accident, head injury, or surgery. Tell them about all current and recent medicines, and any drug or alcohol use. Also tell them about chemical exposure at work or home.

How is acute delirium treated?

If a medical condition is causing your delirium, your healthcare provider will treat the condition first. He or she may make changes to your current medicines. You may also need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage or prevent acute delirium?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.