Evidence for using dextromethorphan-quinidine for the treatment of agitation in dementia.World J Psychiatry. 2020 Apr 19; 10(4):29-33.WJ
Behavioral and psychological symptoms including agitation are common in dementia, and are associated with decreased quality of life, increased risk of institutionalization, and greater patient and caregiver distress. Pharmacological agents used for management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia are limited by their tolerability, prompting a need for identifying efficacious and safe pharmacological treatments for managing agitation in dementia. The combination of dextromethorphan and quinidine sulfate is approved for pseudobulbar affect, and may be effective in managing agitation in dementia. A review of literature found only one randomized controlled trial that evaluated the use of dextromethorphan-quinidine for the management of agitation in dementia when compared to placebo. Data from this trial demonstrated that dextromethorphan-quinidine decreased agitation in dementia, and was well tolerated. Although promising, further research is needed before dextromethorphan-quinidine combination can be accepted as a standard treatment for agitation in dementia.