How do antipsychotic drugs treat sleep problems in people with dementia?

Sarah N. Mourra, MD
Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used for sleep in people with dementia. These drugs can cause many side effects and adverse effects. Usually, if the problem is only sleep, with no comorbid depression, behavioral symptoms or anxiety, doctors try to stay away from the antipsychotics. Antipsychotics are often used for sleep when there’s another issue that the antipsychotic is potentially treating, but in general, it’s not the first-line medication for sleep.

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