Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications

Title

Pharmacologic Management by Clinical Pharmacists of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in Nursing Home Residents: Results from a Pilot Study

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2003

Journal Title

Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy

ISSN

0277-0008

Volume

23

Issue

2

First Page

217

Last Page

221

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1592/phco.23.2.217.32084

PubMed ID

12587811

Abstract

A pharmacist-based consulting service was developed for the pharmacologic management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in a nursing home setting. Patients were evaluated using the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease (BEHAVE-AD) rating scale, and pharmacotherapy was selected using a structured approach. Eleven patients were evaluated and treated with various psychotropic drugs. The most commonly administered drug was trazodone at a mean dosage of 70 mg/day (range 50–100 mg/day). Nine of the patients demonstrated satisfactory treatment responses as shown by a decreased BEHAVE-AD score of 30% or more (average BEHAVE-AD scores at baseline and 1 month after treatment were 13 ± 4 and 4 ± 3, respectively), and no clinical side effects were observed. The service was well received by the facility staff and primary care providers. These preliminary results suggest that pharmacists can play an important role in the pharmacotherapy of BPSD with positive clinical outcomes.

Keywords

Pharmacologic management, clinical pharmacists, dementia, nursing home, geriatric assessment, health services for the aged, New York, pharmacology, pilot projects, psychotropic drugs, trazodone