The relationship between donepezil and behavioral disturbances in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. Spring 2000;8(2):134-40.


The authors tested the hypothesis that behavioral disturbances are reported at significantly lower rates by caregivers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients receiving the antidementia drug donepezil, compared with a group of patients receiving no antidementia drug treatment. Patients administered donepezilfor 6 months (n=84) were compared with patients not on donepezil (n=248). Patients taking donepezil had significantly lower levels of behavioral disturbances than patients not receiving this agent (P< or =0.011). Specifically, donepezil patients were described as significantly (P< or =0.05) less likely to be threatening, destroy property, and talk loudly. Also, significantly fewer patients receiving donepezil were treated with sedatives (P< or =0.005). These findings support the growing body of evidence that cholinesterase inhibitors have psychotropic properties and reduce behavioral disturbances in patients with AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Donepezil
  • Humans
  • Indans / adverse effects
  • Indans / therapeutic use*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nootropic Agents / adverse effects
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Piperidines / adverse effects
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*


  • Indans
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Piperidines
  • Donepezil