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Tolerability of Midazolam to treat acute agitation in elderly demented patients: A systematic review.

WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Behavioural disorders are difficult to manage in elderly demented patients because of the lack of appropriate drugs or difficulties surrounding the route of administration. The tolerability of Midazolam is well described in the emergency management of agitation for young patients, when administered intramuscularly or intravenously. However, very little data are available on the use of oral Midazolam for this indication and in the elderly population.

METHODS: A literature review was conducted, and studies were included if involving adults, receiving Midazolam, alone or in combination, whatever the route, dosage or indication and if they reported adverse events related to the use of Midazolam.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Forty-one articles were included. Eleven different adverse events were identified from the studies. Hypotension and desaturation were the two most frequent adverse events reported. Adverse reactions appear to be more common in older patients but also when Midazolam was used in combination with other drugs. The frequency of these adverse effects was lower than those reported for neuroleptic drugs.

WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: The oral route appears to be appropriate to provide a rapid and well-tolerated response. Further studies will be needed to confirm the good tolerance of oral Midazolam in the management of acute agitation in elderly demented patients.

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