Description: The American College of Physicians and American Academy of Family Physicians developed this guideline to present the available evidence on current pharmacologic treatment of dementia.
Methods: The targeted literature search included evidence related to the effectiveness of 5 U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacologic therapies for dementia for outcomes in the domains of cognition, global function, behavior/mood, and quality of life/activities of daily living. RECOMMENDATION 1: Clinicians should base the decision to initiate a trial of therapy with a cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine on individualized assessment. (Grade: weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence.) RECOMMENDATION 2: Clinicians should base the choice of pharmacologic agents on tolerability, adverse effect profile, ease of use, and cost of medication. The evidence is insufficient to compare the effectiveness of different pharmacologic agents for the treatment of dementia. (Grade: weak recommendation, low-quality evidence.) RECOMMENDATION 3: There is an urgent need for further research on the clinical effectiveness of pharmacologic management of dementia.