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A chemical restraint is a form of medical restraint in which a drug is used to restrict the freedom or movement of a patient or in some cases to sedate a patient. These are used in emergency, acute, and psychiatric settings to control unruly patients who are interfering with their care or who are otherwise harmful to themselves or others in their vicinity.

Drugs that are often used as chemical restraints include benzodiazepine, lorazepam, and haloperidol[1].

In the United States, no drugs are presently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as chemical restraints[2].

The use of chemical restraint has been criticized. It has been found to be mismanaged by health care workers for the convenience of the staff rather than the benefit of the patient, as workers use them to prevent patients from resisting care rather than improving the health of the patient[3]. This has been found to cause more confusion in patients, thereby slowing their recovery[4].

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