Volume 3 Issue 1
The Urgent and Unmet Need for Safe and Effective Treatment of Agitation
Joseph V. Pergolizzi Jr., MD, Robert B. Raffa PhD, Joseph Pergolizzi III , Gianpietro, Zampogna MD, Charles Fleischer MD, Robert Taylor PhD and Jo Ann LeQuang BA*
Agitation may occur in many settings: upon emergence from anesthesia, in the context of certain mental illnesses, secondary to brain injury or substance abuse, as a side effect of medication, and with certain forms of cognitive impairment. Agitation occurs frequently in patients with dementia, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease. This neuropsychiatric symptom is likely related to dysfunctional neurotransmissions, but the exact mechanisms remain unknown. There is no FDA-approved treatment for agitation but several agents are used off-label to help manage agitation, which can be a chronic and troublesome condition in patients with dementia.