Pharmacologic approach to management of agitation associated with dementia

M. E. Kunik, S. C. Yudofsky, J. M. Silver, Robert E Hales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Dementia is a complex syndrome associated with cognitive impairment, personality change, and behavioral disturbance. Behavioral symptoms frequently present the greatest challenge for caregivers and are often the determining factor in institutional placement. Determining the need for pharmacologic treatment of an agitated patient requires considering the full range of biopsychosocial variables and ultimately involves assessing the risks and benefits of the medications selected for the patient. In this article, the phenomenology of agitation is reviewed along with the pharmacologic treatment of agitation in patients with dementia, including the use of benzodiazepines, neuroleptics, β-adrenergic-blocking agents, serotonergic agents, carbamazepine, and lithium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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