OPEN IN READ APP
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sequential drug treatment algorithm for agitation and aggression in Alzheimer's and mixed dementia

Simon Jc Davies, Amer M Burhan, Donna Kim, Philip Gerretsen, Ariel Graff-Guerrero, Vincent L Woo, Sanjeev Kumar, Sarah Colman, Bruce G Pollock, Benoit H Mulsant, Tarek K Rajji
Journal of Psychopharmacology 2018, 32 (5): 509-523
29338602

INTRODUCTION: Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) include agitation and aggression in people with dementia. BPSD is common on inpatient psychogeriatric units and may prevent individuals from living at home or in residential/nursing home settings. Several drugs and non-pharmacological treatments have been shown to be effective in reducing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Algorithmic treatment may address the challenge of synthesizing this evidence-based knowledge.

METHODS: A multidisciplinary team created evidence-based algorithms for the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. We present drug treatment algorithms for agitation and aggression associated with Alzheimer's and mixed Alzheimer's/vascular dementia. Drugs were appraised by psychiatrists based on strength of evidence of efficacy, time to onset of clinical effect, tolerability, ease of use, and efficacy for indications other than behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

RESULTS: After baseline assessment and discontinuation of potentially exacerbating medications, sequential trials are recommended with risperidone, aripiprazole or quetiapine, carbamazepine, citalopram, gabapentin, and prazosin. Titration schedules are proposed, with adjustments for frailty. Additional guidance is given on use of electroconvulsive therapy, optimization of existing cholinesterase inhibitors/memantine, and use of pro re nata medications.

CONCLUSION: This algorithm-based approach for drug treatment of agitation/aggression in Alzheimer's/mixed dementia has been implemented in several Canadian Hospital Inpatient Units. Impact should be assessed in future research.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
29338602
×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"