This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Escitalopram versus risperidone for the treatment of behavioral and psychotic symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized double-blind pilot study


Barak, Yoram, Plopski, Igor, Tadger, Shelly, Paleacu, Diana


International Psychogeriatrics / IPA, Volume: 23, No.: 9, Pages.: 1515-1519

Year of Publication



Background: Antipsychotics are frequently used to treat psychosis, aggression and agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but safety warnings abound. Escitalopram was investigated since citalopram has demonstrated some effectiveness in AD. We compared escitalopram and risperidone for psychotic symptoms and agitation associated with AD.; Methods: Inpatients with AD, who had been hospitalized because of behavioral symptoms, were recruited to a six-week randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Participants (n = 40) were randomized to once daily risperidone 1 mg or escitalopram 10 mg.; Results: The NPI total score improved in both groups. Onset was earlier in the risperidone-treated group, but improvement did not significantly differ between groups by study end. Completion rates differed for escitalopram (75%) and risperidone (55%), mainly due to adverse events. There were no adverse events in the escitalopram group, while in the risperidone group two patients suffered severe extrapyramidal symptoms and four patients suffered acute physical illness necessitating transfer to general hospital.; Conclusion: Escitalopram and risperidone did not differ in efficacy in reducing psychotic symptoms and agitation in patients with AD. Completion rates were higher for escitalopram-treated patients. Replication in larger trials with ambulatory patients is needed.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Barak_2011, doi = {10.1017/s1041610211000743}, url = {}, year = 2011, month = {apr}, publisher = {Cambridge University Press ({CUP})}, volume = {23}, number = {09}, pages = {1515--1519}, author = {Yoram Barak and Igor Plopski and Shelly Tadger and Diana Paleacu}, title = {Escitalopram versus risperidone for the treatment of behavioral and psychotic symptoms associated with Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s disease: a randomized double-blind pilot study}, journal = {Int. Psychogeriatr.} }


adverse, aged, alzheimer disease, and, antipsychotic agents, citalopram, double-blind method, drug therapy, escitalopram, events, female, humans, male, psychology, psychotic disorders, risperidone, therapeutic use, treatment outcome

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Behaviour, Other


Hospital Inpatient Care

Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Antipsychotics and antidepressants