Non-Pharmacological Treatments (4, 5, 6)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Most effective treatment for catatonia. (4)
- Probability of success is high, even in malignant catatonia.
- Especially indicated if pharmacologic treatment does not work.
- It is generally a second-line treatment given if Benzodiazepines or other pharmacological treatments don’t work.
- ECT is safe and effective.
- ECT is effective in up to 89% of patients with malignant catatonia (versus 40% with lorazepam only) and 85% of all types of catatonia.
- There are no absolute contraindications to receiving ECT but cardiac and/or medical consultation can be sought prior to ECT treatment for patients who have been immobilized for a long period of time.
- Frequency of administration.
- Daily ECT sessions for up to one week.
- In some cases only a few sessions are needed for full effect.
- Bilateral ECT is preferred to unilateral ECT for full efficacy.