8. Using Psychotropic Medications to Manage Problem Behaviors in Dementia

  1. Joseph F. Quinn MD
  1. Lucy Y. Wang and
  2. Murray A. Raskind

Published Online: 25 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118656082.ch8

Dementia

Dementia

How to Cite

Quinn, J. F. (2013) Using Psychotropic Medications to Manage Problem Behaviors in Dementia, in Dementia, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118656082.ch8

Author Information

  1. Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 OCT 2013
  2. Published Print: 13 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470674246

Online ISBN: 9781118656082

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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • agitation;
  • aggression;
  • depression;
  • psychosis;
  • hallucinations;
  • delusions;
  • apathy;
  • insomnia

Summary

Behavioral symptoms are common in dementia and cause significant patient distress and caregiver burden. These symptoms include agitation and aggression, psychosis, sleep disturbance, depression, and apathy. Treatment should start with nonpharmacologic approaches, but when symptoms are severe or do not respond, pharmacologic options are recommended. Most psychotropic medications have modest benefit, but side effects may limit use and should be monitored carefully. Commonly used medications include cholinesterase inhibitors, atypical antipsychotics, antidepressants, and sedative-hypnotics.