People with dementia may develop behavioural and psychological symptoms including restlessness, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, apathy and sleep disturbances.
This factsheet looks at the different types of drugs that can be used to treat these symptoms if non-drug treatments have not worked.
For information about these symptoms and how they can be treated, see factsheet 444, Depression and anxiety.
Behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia are very common and usually develop as the disease progresses.
For example delusions (believing things that are not true, such as that the carer is an impostor) may cause the person to feel angry and behave in a hostile way.Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren't there, such as hearing voices) might make the person feel afraid.If a person with dementia develops behavioural and psychological symptoms it is important to remember that they are not 'behaving badly' and are not to blame.It is, however, important to note that most behavioural and psychological symptoms improve within four weeks without the need for medication.There are a number of different ways that behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia can be relieved.
This factsheet explains the different types of drugs that can be used.