Impact of Antipsychotics on Geriatric Patients: Efficacy, Dosing, and Compliance

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People today are living longer. Old age is the number one risk factor for dementia, which is often associated with behavioral disturbances and psychosis as well as cognitive and memory impairment. Elderly persons with dementia--particularly those who are agitated or aggressive--are often placed in nursing homes and consequently treated with antipsychotic medications. Most of the studies of antipsychotic efficacy and safety have been conducted in young schizophrenic patients, but there are differences in dosing schedules, efficacy, and compliance when these drugs are used in elderly patients with dementia and psychosis. A review of both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic treatment is herewith presented for the treatment of elderly dementia patients, especially those living in long-term care facilities.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2000;2(5):165-172