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ABSTRACT: Objective. The tolerability of clonazepam in geropsychiatric inpatients was examined in patients with and without a diagnosis of dementia.Design. Forward-looking retrospective study comprising consecutive patients placed on clonazepam.Setting. A geropsychiatry unit of a large Veterans Affairs Medical Center.Patients. All geropsychiatry inpatients placed on clonazepam over a 21-month period of time.Measure. Mini-Mental State Examination, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory and the Rating Scale for Side Effects were performed at admission and discharge as part of an ongoing database.Results. Twenty-four geropsychiatric inpatients were treated with clonazepam (mean dose of 1.2 mg for a minimum of 2 weeks) during the 21 months studied. About one half of the patients had a primary diagnosis of dementia and the remainder had a diagnosis of an affective or psychotic disorder. Two of these patients were discontinued because they had responded to the acute need for clonazepam and a third patient was discontinued because of the development of sedation and confusion. For the remaining 21 patients, scores improved significantly on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (p=0.017), the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (p=0.011), the Rating Scale for Side Effects (0.004) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (p=0.000), with no differences in amount of improvement between demented and non-demented patient groups. Scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination remained unchanged.Conclusion. Clonazepam shows promise as a benzodiazepine with good tolerability in the elderly. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 07/1997; 12(7):745 - 749. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1166(199707)12:7<745::AID-GPS626>3.0.CO;2-D · 3.09 Impact Factor