Antipsychotic treatments for the elderly: efficacy and safety of aripiprazole
Izchak Kohen1, Paula E Lester2, Sum Lam3
1Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Zucker-Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY, USA; 2Division of Geriatric Medicine, Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, NY, USA; 3Division of Pharmacy and Geriatrics, St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, Queens, NY, USA
Abstract: Delusions, hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms can accompany a number of conditions in late life. As such, elderly patients are commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications for the treatment of psychosis in both acute and chronic conditions. Those conditions include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and dementia. Elderly patients are at an increased risk of adverse events from antipsychotic medications because of age-related pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic changes as well as polypharmacy. Drug selection should be individualized to the patient’s previous history of antipsychotic use, current medical conditions, potential drug interactions, and potential side effects of the antipsychotic. Specifically, metabolic side effects should be closely monitored in this population. This paper provides a review of aripiprazole, a newer second generation antipsychotic agent, for its use in a variety of psychiatric disorders in the elderly including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and depression. We will review the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of aripiprazole as well as dosing, diagnostic indications, efficacy studies, and tolerability including its metabolic profile. We will also detail patient focused perspectives including quality of life, patient satisfaction and adherence.
Keywords: aripiprazole, antipsychotics, elderly, adverse drug reaction
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