Cholinesterase inhibitor and memantine use in newly admitted nursing home residents with dementia

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged, 80 and over; Cholinesterase Inhibitors; Cohort Studies; Dementia; Drug Utilization; Female; Humans; Male; Memantine; Nursing Homes; Retrospective Studies


Geriatrics | Health Services Research | Primary Care


OBJECTIVES: To quantify the use of cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) and memantine in nursing home (NH) residents with dementia upon NH admission and 3 months later and to examine factors associated with reduction in therapy.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING: Nationwide sample of U.S. NHs.

PARTICIPANTS: Three thousand five hundred six NH residents with dementia newly admitted in 2006.

MEASUREMENTS: Data from pharmacy dispensing records were used to determine ChEI and memantine medication use upon NH admission and at 3-month follow-up. The Minimum Data Set was used to determine resident- and facility-level characteristics. Severity of dementia was defined using the Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS).

RESULTS: Overall, 40.1% (n=1,407) of newly admitted NH residents with dementia received ChEIs and memantine on NH admission. Use of ChEIs and memantine on admission was significantly greater in residents with mild to moderately severe dementia (41.2%) than in those with advanced dementia (33.3%, P=.001). After 3 months, ChEI and memantine use decreased by about half in both groups (48.6% with mild to moderately severe dementia vs 57.0% with advanced dementia, P<.05). NH residents with advanced dementia were significantly more likely reduce their use of ChEIs and memantine than those with mild to moderately severe dementia (odds ratio=1.44, 95% confidence interval=1.03-2.01, P=.04).

CONCLUSION: Many NH residents with advanced dementia receive ChEIs and memantine upon NH admission, and approximately half of these decrease their medication use over the ensuing months. Further study is required to optimize use of ChEIs and memantine in NH populations and to determine the effects of withdrawing therapy on resident outcomes.

DOI of Published Version



J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Jul;59(7):1253-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03478.x. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID