During the clinical course of dementia, beside cognitive impairment and memory loss, a very complex challenge is posed by the neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs). Accurate evaluation and treatment of pain impacts positively the agitation of demented patients aged ≥ 65 years. To gather information on the utilization of pain killers in demented patients a preliminary survey has been conducted in collaboration with the Calabrian Pharmacovigilance Territorial Service of the health district of Catanzaro (Italy). The study has taken into consideration the prescriptions of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine during the period ranging from July 2015 to June 2016 and the percentage of patients treated against pain with non steroidal antinflammatory drugs, opioids, and anticonvulsants have been monitored. The latter have been evaluated statistically for difference between the treatment before (pre) and after (post) the settlement of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEI) or memantine therapy. The results do support accuracy in painkillers utilization in the course of dementia in the regional population of Calabria (Italy).
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; appropriate prescriptions; aromatherapy; dementia; neuropsychiatric symptoms; opioids; pain; α2δ-1 ligands.