OPINION: (Dr Ken Romeo)
Inappropriate sexual behavior is a relatively common and potentially disruptive form of behavior in people with dementia which can cause considerable distress and put placements and people at risk.
Inappropriate sexual behavior in people with dementia is poorly researched and understood.
In addition to non-pharmacological approaches to management, a wide range of classes of medication has been used in have been used to treat inappropriate sexual behavior but the reports are isolate and there has been no randomized clinical trial.This is in part because of the lack of a well-defined method of observing and measuring the behavior, as well as the significant ethical considerations.
“Pharmacological treatments for which there is low-level evidence of efficacy in the literature include antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, cholinesterase inhibitors, hormonal agents, and beta-blockers.”
None of these drugs are licensed for use in treating the behavior, and elderly people, particularly those with dementia, are at high risk of adverse effects.
Caution is advised before using medication in this group of people. It is important to consider alternative non-pharmacological treatments, as well as discussing issues of ethics and consent with those involved, before initiating treatment.
Pharmacological treatments should be started at low dose and titrated up slowly. Nevertheless, in some situations, medication may provide a useful part of a management plan for inappropriate sexual behavior for adults suffering from dementia.
Yours in Health!
Dr. Ken Romeo
Dr. Ken Romeo is a Principal and Chief Clinical Data Coordinator for the Healthy Aging Research Foundation (HARF) in Reno, NV.
Though each article contained on this Blog is derived from published Clinical and Research data contained in various national and international databases with links provided,
NO ARTICLE OR CONCLUSION IS MEANT TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE DISEASE.
CONSULT YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES TO YOUR HEALTH REGIMEN.
Source: Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2016 Sep;18(9):41