T here is presently no cure for dementia. Depending on the type of dementia, doctors may prescribe medications to treat symptoms. The effectiveness of the treatments varies from person to person. Do not expect any immediate results, because benefits may take several weeks to become apparent. Treatments should be reviewed often and side effects monitored. Side effects are often related to the dosage of the medication. Therefore, it is common practice to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase.
Drugs can be used to treat the cognitive symptoms of dementia, but also to treat accompanying symptoms of dementia such as behavioural and psychological symptoms. Drugs can also be prescribed to treat depression, sleep disturbance or anxiety if they are necessary.
Remember, non-pharmacological approaches for behavioural and psychological symptoms should be first-line treatments. Indeed, old age and dementia decrease a drug’s efficiency and increase a drug’s adverse effect. You should always be informed about risks and advantages of drugs.
Treatments are discussed in more details in the following Fact Sheets: