Second-generation antipsychotics in dementia: beyond safety concerns. A clinical, systematic review of efficacy data from randomised controlled trials
- Salvatore Gentile
OBJECTIVE Behavioral disturbances in dementia are extremely prominent and distressful, and often result in serious physical, social, and economic consequences. The authors compared the efficacy and tolerability of risperidone and haloperidol in the treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in institutionalized elderly Korean patients with Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, or mixed dementia. METHODS This was an 18-week double-blind, crossover study involving 120 patients who were randomly assigned to receive flexible doses (0.5-1.5 mg/day) of risperidone or haloperidol. BPSD were assessed using the Korean version of the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD-K), the Korean version of the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI-K), and the Clinical Global Impression of Change scale (CGI-C). Safety and tolerability assessments included the Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale and the incidence of adverse events. RESULTS Both risperidone and haloperidol were efficacious in alleviating BPSD. However, when receiving risperidone, patients showed significantly greater improvement than when receiving haloperidol in the total and subscale scores of the BEHAVE-AD-K, the total and subscale scores of the CMAI-K, and the scores on the CGI-C scale. Also, risperidone had an additional benefit on aggressiveness and anxieties/phobias. The risk of antipsychotic-induced parkinsonism throughout this study was significantly lower with risperidone than with haloperidol. CONCLUSION Risperidone had a favorable efficacy and tolerability profile compared with haloperidol in the treatment of BPSD in this patient population.