Author(s): Restifo S, Lemon V, Waters F
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This study involved an examination of the current patterns of pharmacological treatment of patients with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in psychogeriatric inpatient units. METHOD: An audit was conducted of discharge medications of patients with BPSD who were hospitalized at three separate inpatient units in Perth, Western Australia over a 1-year period. RESULTS: Prescribing patterns were found to be relatively similar across the three units. Dementia-specific drugs such as choline-esterase inhibitors and memantine comprised a minority of prescribed medication. Antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and sodium valproate were the most commonly prescribed drugs. Cyproterone acetate was used in a small number of patients at each of the three units. CONCLUSIONS: The broad range of medications used to treat BPSD, the relatively modest place of dementia-specific drugs in this patient group, and the co-prescribing of more than one psychotropic agent in the majority of patients support the prevailing impressions that BPSD are difficult to treat and that there is no consistently effective or superior medication or drug group.
This article was published in Australas Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research