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P22011 - Psychotropic polypharmacy in patients with dementia

A. Nørgaard1, C. Jensen-Dahm1, C. Gasse2, G. Waldemar1; 11Danish Dementia Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen/Denmark, 2National Centre for Register based Research, Aarhus/Denmark Please note: This poster is part of the session Ageing and dementia 4 on Sunday, May 29, 13:30 - 14:15 Add poster to my schedule In your schedule (remove)

Background and aims:

Antipsychotics and other psychotropic drugs are frequently used to treat neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia, even though the evidence for effect is limited. Concerns have been raised about the safety of antipsychotics, but combined use of antipsychotics and other psychotropics (psychotropic polypharmacy) may also pose a risk for the patients. We aimed to investigate the prevalence and predictors of concomitant use of psychotropic drugs in patients with dementia in Denmark.


Based on data from nationwide registers we included all patients with dementia (age>=65) on January 1, 2012. We obtained information about redeemed prescriptions, demographics and somatic and psychiatric comorbidity. Prescriptions with overlapping treatment periods were used to identify concomitant use. We conducted a multivariate logistic regression to evaluate factors independently associated with prescription of other psychotropic drugs in addition to antipsychotic treatment.


We identified 34,553 patients with dementia (3.5%) among 974,431 Danish residents aged>=65. Psychotropic polypharmacy with at least two different psychotropic drug classes occurred in 25.3% (8,728). Among patients treated with antipsychotics 75.8% (5,403) used other psychotropic drug during the antipsychotic treatment period. Younger age, female sex, nursing home residency, number of other drugs used in 2011, and prior psychiatric diagnosis were associated with psychotropic polypharmacy among antipsychotic drug users.


Use of other psychotropic drugs in combination with antipsychotics was frequent in dementia patients. Patients with dementia living in nursing homes already characterized by frailty had a higher risk of receiving combinations of psychotropic drugs. The potential consequences for patients safety calls for further investigations.

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose