AIMS AND METHOD:
To compare current prescribing practice for psychotic and behavioural symptoms in dementia with the available research. An anonymous questionnaire was sent to all members of the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, enquiring about preferred drug treatments.
Classical antipsychotics were chosen by 50% for psychotic symptoms over atypical antipsychotics (43%) and were preferred for aggression (48%) and sexual disinhibition (55%). Antidepressants were favoured in treating anxiety (41%) and lability (45%).
Alternatives to classical antipsychotics, especially for behavioural symptoms, have yet to be researched satisfactorily. In view of the continued widespread use of classical antipsychotics and recent concerns about their safety, we call for this to be addressed.