Drugs for behavioral and psychological symptoms

1. Drugs used to relieve behavioral and psychological symptoms

Drugs for behavioral and psychological symptoms

People with dementia often develop changes as their condition progresses. These include changes in their behaviour and feelings, the things they think and how they perceive the world. Collectively, these changes are referred to as ‘behavioural and psychological symptoms’. They are often more distressing for the person with dementia and those supporting them than problems such as memory loss.

In most cases, behavioural and psychological symptoms can be successfully managed without medication. However, if non-drug approaches have not worked or if symptoms are severe, there are drugs that can be used to treat them. This factsheet looks at these drugs. It explains when and how they should be prescribed, and what the benefits and side effects might be.

For more about non-drug approaches available see our pages Changes in behaviour and Aggressive behaviour.