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Is it safe to have Risperidone for dementia?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1999
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Question
A doctor who saw my brother for 1 hour at his home has prescribed both Risperodone and divalproeX to treat his elderly dementia/Alzheimer's. I have read that Risperodone is specifically NOT to be used for this. I am also concerned about the interaction between these 2 drugs. We were told he was prescribing a mild sedative.
Posted Thu, 9 Apr 2015 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Both can be given but caution is advised

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

risperidone can be used as a short-term measure against agitation and aggressiveness in patients with dementia. Despite that using risperidone (particularly when used with furosemide) may increase mortality. 4% died during the study versus 3.1% in the other group that did not take risperidone. In patients that also took furosemide the mortality risk was almost doubled.

Valproic blood levels may rise when used in combination with risperidone. The only safe way to use both drugs together is to measure valproic levels.

So in conclusion, although risperidone usage does pose risks to elderly patients with dementia, it can be used as a short-term treatment. Combination with valproic needs caution to avoid elevation of its levels and side-effects.

Kind Regards!
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