Clinical Practice Guideline


Current Pharmacologic Treatment of Dementia

(Jointly Developed, March 2008)
(Reaffirmed April 2013)

The guideline on Current Pharmacologic Treatment of Dementia was jointly developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians.

Key Recommendations

  • The decision to initiate a trial of therapy with a cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine should be based on evaluation of benefits and risks associated with each individual patient.
  • The choice of pharmacologic agents should be based on tolerability, adverse effect profile, ease of use, and cost of medication. The evidence is insufficient to compare the effectiveness of different pharmacologic agents for the treatment of dementia.

These guidelines are provided only as assistance for physicians making clinical decisions regarding the care of their patients. As such, they cannot substitute the individual judgment brought to each clinical situation by the patient’s family physician. As with all clinical reference resources, they reflect the best understanding of the science of medicine at the time of publication, but they should be used with the clear understanding that continued research may result in new knowledge and recommendations. These guidelines are only one element in the complex process of improving the health of America. To be effective, the guidelines must be implemented.