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Combination drug shows promise for treating agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 23 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5015
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

A combination drug treatment can reduce agitation in patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease and is generally well tolerated, preliminary research published in JAMA has shown.1

The phase II double blind randomised clinical trial showed that patients who received the combination dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulphate had lower occurrence and severity of agitation than patients who received placebo. This combination is approved in the United States and the European Union for treating pseudobulbar affect, a neurological disorder characterised by uncontrollable episodes of crying.

Agitation and aggression are common in dementia patients, which can be distressing for the patient and can put carers …

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