Use of anticholinergic medications by older adults with dementia

Catherine M. Roe, M. J. Anderson, B. Spivack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The prevalence of anticholinergic use among patients with probable dementia was compared to that of a matched group of older adults who were unlikely to have dementia. The extent to which patients concomitantly used donepezil and anticholinergic medications was also assessed. Data were pharmacy claims from 836 patients aged 65 years and older. The probable dementia group was comprised of 418 patients taking donepezil, each of whom was matched with a comparison group member. Results indicated that older adults with probable dementia were more likely to use anticholinergics than comparison group members (33.0% vs. 23.4%; P = .001). Of probable dementia group members who used anticholinergics, 26.1% used more than one anticholinergic medication. Anticholinergic users with probable dementia used anticholinergics concomitantly with donepezil on 28.4% of follow-up period days. Older adults with dementia are frequently exposed to anticholinergic medications and prescribing for these patients could be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalResearch and Practice in Alzheimer's Disease
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease, donepezil, anticholinergics
  • Dementia


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