Drug Reduces Agitation in Patients with Alzheimer’s
Agitation is common among people with Alzheimer’s dementia. A 2015 phase 2 clinical trial by Jeffrey L. Cummings and colleagues, which was published in the journal JAMA, found that a combination of the drugs dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulfate called Nuedexta reduced agitation significantly compared to placebo in patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease over a period of 10 weeks. Dextromethorphan-quinidine was dosed at 20mg/10mg in the morning for one week, then twice daily in weeks 2 and 3, then increased to 30mg/10mg twice daily for weeks 4 and 5. Side effects included falls, diarrhea, and urinary tract infections. Dextromethorphan-quinidine did not cause cognitive impairment, sedation, or irregularities in heart rate.