Transfer of psychiatric inpatients to a general hospital due to adverse drug reactions. Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors review their experience with transfers of hospitalized psychiatric inpatients to general hospitals because of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). A total of 29 medical transfers related to ADRs were found in a review of 10,994 psychiatric inpatient admissions that occurred in a 30-month period between 1990 and 1993 (0.264%). Most cases involved neurological syndromes (76%), particularly delirium (31%). Low-potency antipsychotic agents were most frequently implicated (31%). Most ADRs were of moderate severity, but 8 cases required medical hospitalization (0.07% incidence). These findings indicate that ADRs leading to transfer of hospitalized psychiatric patients to a general medical facility were infrequent (< 0.3% of psychiatric admissions) and rarely led to medical hospitalization (< 0.1%).

publication date

  • February 1997