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Alzheimer's Disease and Antipsychotics

Read more about Antipsychotics.

Overview

Antipsychotics are most commonly used to treat hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there), delusions (false beliefs), aggression, and hostility that may manifest as symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Antipsychotics sometimes prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)

Effect of Antipsychotics on Alzheimer's Disease

Antipsychotic medicines are used for symptoms of agitation, hallucinations, delusions, bizarre behavior, and violent behavior. Antipsychotics usually have a sedating effect on behavior and may not always be effective for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Side Effects and Warnings

Possible side effects of olanzapine include:

  • Agitation
  • Behavior problems
  • Difficulty in speaking or swallowing
  • Restlessness or need to keep moving
  • Stiffness of arms or legs
  • Trembling or shaking of hands and fingers

Possible side effects of risperidone and quetiapine include:

  • Tardive dyskinesia (fine, worm-like movements of the tongue, or other uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, shoulders, arms, or legs)

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