Resource Summary

Clinical Question:
What are the benefits and harms of antipsychotics for agitation in dementia?
Bottom Line:
A strong placebo effect explains most of the perceived efficacy^ with antipsychotics providing little additional improvement over placebo on agitation scales (approx. 3 additional points out of 144). However^ 50% improvement in behaviour occurs in approx. 46% on antipsychotic versus approx. 33% on placebo. Harms are serious (increased death or cerebrovascular events for 1 in approx. 80^ for each over placebo) and common (somnolence or gait troubles 1 in approx. 10 or 20^ for each). Antipsychotics should be reserved for cases of severe aggression and withdrawal attempted as soon as possible.

Publication Date: 2018-2-26
Last Updated on PCR: 2018-03-01 10:43:24