Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2006 Nov;6(6):490-5.
doi: 10.1007/s11910-006-0051-6.

Psychotropic Medication Use for Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia


Psychotropic Medication Use for Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia

Philip S Wang et al. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. .


Behavioral disturbances associated with dementia are common and burdensome. Although no psychotropic medications are currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat such behavioral symptoms, a variety of drug classes are commonly used for these purposes. Atypical antipsychotic medications may be somewhat effective and are generally considered the pharmacologic treatments of choice; however "black box" warnings have recently been added to their labels by the FDA, warning of significantly increased risks of short-term mortality. Older conventional antipsychotic medications may also be somewhat effective but appear to pose risks that can be at least as great as those of the newer atypical drugs. Although antidepressants, benzodiazepines, mood stabilizers, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists may be considered, particularly in patients with specific types of symptomatology, even less is known about their effectiveness and safety. Also, although various psychotropic medications used for behavioral disturbances in dementia patients may be somewhat effective, they have been increasingly associated with important safety risks.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 7 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Nov;158(11):1774-82 - PubMed
    1. CNS Spectr. 2005 Nov;10(11 Suppl 18):22-5 - PubMed
    1. JAMA. 2005 May 25;293(20):2462 - PubMed
    1. Psychiatr Serv. 2002 Nov;53(11):1402-6 - PubMed
    1. Arch Neurol. 2003 Aug;60(8):1119-22 - PubMed


LinkOut - more resources