Medications in Patients with Dementia and Behavioral Disturbance

Link to article at PubMed

J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2021 Jun 17;5(1):535-540. doi: 10.3233/ADR-210023. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Behavioral disturbance (BD) is common in dementia patients, with no FDA approved medications for this condition. Little data exists on the real-world medication use in this population.

OBJECTIVE: To describe real-world medications use in this population.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted using the MarketScan database for outpatient medications and the Cerner database for inpatient medications. The study period was Oct 2015-Jun 2018. Patients with dementia and BD were identified through ICD-10-CM. We examined outpatient medications prescribed during 6-month before or after BD event date, and inpatient medications during inpatient visits, especially on central nervous systems (CNS) drugs including antidementia drugs, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, and anticonvulsants.

RESULTS: A total of 56,544 outpatients and 34,245 patient hospitalizations were assessed separately. Among outpatients, patients filled more medications after a BD event. The use of the five CNS drug classes generally increased after a BD event, and the largest increase was seen in antipsychotics (23%to 33%). Among inpatients, the median number of medications used in each hospitalization was 14. The use of antipsychotics was particularly high (64%), followed by anxiolytics (51%). A list of 60 unique medications were suggested to be the commonly used drugs in dementia patients with BD.

CONCLUSION: In dementia patients with BD, anti-dementia medications, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, hypnotics and antipsychotics were the most used drug classes. Antidepressants and antipsychotics use were more frequent after a BD event, which suggests a need for safe drugs targeting BD in dementia patients.

PMID:34368636 | PMC:PMC8293669 | DOI:10.3233/ADR-210023

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