What is the role of psychotropic medications in the treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) in Down syndrome (DS)?

Updated: Nov 13, 2019
  • Author: Norberto Alvarez, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Typical and atypical neuroleptics are often used to treat agitation, aggression, and hallucinations in patients with AD without DS. A black box warning from the FDA warns about the use of atypical neuroleptics in patients with dementia. Nonetheless, most experts still occasionally use atypical neuroleptics (eg, quetiapine) with the least extra pyramidal side effects in treating AD patients with agitation. Physicians need to inform patients’ families that they are prescribing such medications despite the black box warning.

The use of atypical antipsychotic medications in persons with AD but no DS for the treatment of aggression, psychosis, or agitation showed that the adverse effects offset the benefits. [142]


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