Alzheimer dementia: Starting, stopping drug therapy

Cleve Clin J Med. 2018 Mar;85(3):209-214. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.85a.16080.


Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia. Two classes of cognition-enhancing drugs are approved to treat the symptoms, and both have provided modest benefit in clinical trials. Psychotropic drugs are sometimes used off-label to treat behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer disease. All these medications should be continuously evaluated for clinical efficacy and, when appropriate, discontinued if the primary benefit--preservation of cognitive and functional status and a reduction in behaviors associated with dementia--is no longer being achieved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Behavioral Symptoms / drug therapy
  • Behavioral Symptoms / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Withholding Treatment


  • Psychotropic Drugs