Citalopram Safe, Effective in Psychosis of Dementia Patients

NEW YORK (MedscapeWire) Mar 19 — Citalopram was more effective than perphenazine in treating psychosis and behavioral disturbances of hospitalized demented patients, according to findings from a randomized, double-blind trial reported in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
"Until recently, conventional antipsychotics were the standard pharmacotherapy for psychosis and behavioral disturbances associated with dementia," write B.G. Pollock, from the Western Psychiatric Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and colleagues.

This placebo-controlled study compared the acute efficacy of citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and the neuroleptic perphenazine for the treatment of psychosis and behavioral disturbances.

Subjects included 85 hospitalized patients with dementia but without depression who had at least one moderate to severe target symptom, such as aggression, agitation, hostility, suspiciousness, hallucinations, or delusions. Under double-blind conditions, patients were randomized to receive either citalopram, perphenazine, or placebo for up to 17 days.

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