The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for depression and psychosis complicating dementia

William J. Burke, Vijay Dewan, Steven P. Wengel, William H. Roccaforte, Grace C. Nadolny, David G. Folks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

This retrospective chart review examines the impact of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on 20 patients with both depression and psychosis complicating dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and other dementias. Fifteen of the 20 patients had moderate to marked improvement in depressive and psychotic symptoms. Eleven of 12 patients with DAT had moderate to marked improvement compared to only four of eight patients with dementia from other causes. The drugs were effective in diminishing or eliminating psychotic symptoms in six patients who had previously not responded to a trial of a neuroleptic. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may have an important role to play in patients with DAT who have coexisting depression and psychosis. These drugs are very well tolerated and may have a place as first-line agents in non-emergent settings where a clinician might otherwise think of instituting a neuroleptic or as a second-line agent when a neuroleptic has proven ineffective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1997

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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