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Brief Reports   |    
Pharmacologic treatment of noncognitive behavioral disturbances in elderly demented patients
Am J Psychiatry 1990;147:1640-1645.
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Abstract

Fifty-nine elderly residents of long-term care facilities who had DSM- III diagnoses of dementia were studied in an 8-week randomized, double- blind comparison trial of haloperidol, oxazepam, and diphenhydramine to test the efficacy of these agents in the treatment of clinically significant behavioral disturbances in patients with dementia. All three agents demonstrated modest but significant efficacy as measured by clinician ratings of agitated behavior and activities of daily living. The absolute magnitude of improvement was greater for haloperidol and diphenhydramine than for oxazepam, but differences among groups did not approach statistical significance. Frequencies of acute adverse events during the trial were similar across the drug treatment groups. Although these drugs may differ in terms of long-term safety and efficacy, they appear to be equivalent for short-term management of agitated behavior in severely demented patients.

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