Antipsychotic medicines for treating agitation, aggression and distress in people living with dementia (patient decision aid)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE);OptionGrid
Publication date:
20 June 2018


Information to help people living with dementia, their family members and carers and their healthcare professionals discuss the options. People living with dementia can sometimes become aggressive or very agitated. They might also hear voices or see things that are not really there (called hallucinations) or believe that something is real or true when it is not (called delusions). This can be very distressing for them and their carers, and the person may become violent. Several things should be tried first to help calm the person (for example music, exercise or aromatherapy). Antipsychotic medicines (often just called ‘antipsychotics’) can help control hallucinations and delusions and will also sedate the person (make them feel drowsy).