Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of risperidone on Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) in a sample of primary care patients.
Design: Open-label prospective post-marketing survey.
Materials and Methods: A total of 938 elderly patients in Austria suffering from BPSD and routinely treated by their primary care physicians were included. Patients received a flexible dose of risperidone, starting with 0.5mg, for at least 6 weeks. Questionnaires were filled in before start and after 6 weeks of treatment. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify predictors for the efficacy of risperidone according to the physicians and caregivers.
Results: Before starting treatment with risperidone, BPSD were severe in 36.6% of the patients, moderate in 49.3%, and mild in 14.1%. The overall efficacy of risperidone was judged as "excellent" by the general practitioners and caregivers in about half the patients. The treatment was judged as "not satisfactory" in only a very small proportion (3.3% and 4.3%, respectively). Predictors of an "excellent" efficacy (versus the rest) according to the physicians and caregivers were a higher number and a lower severity of BPSD before starting treatment with risperidone, and a lower daily dosage of risperidone. According to the physicians' judgment, the tolerability of risperidone was "excellent" in 81.5% of the patients and "satisfactory" in 17.8%. The tolerability was "not satisfactory" in only 0.7%. Only 7.4% of the patients reported any adverse event.
Conclusion: Overall, the results of this survey indicate that risperidone is both efficacious and safe for the treatment of elderly primary care patients with BPSD.
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