Numerous medications, such as opioids, neuroleptics and diuretics, can be used to treat end-stage dementia, according to Annals of Long-Term Care. Sublingual or parenteral medications are useful because administration of medicine in end-stage dementia is challenging for caregivers.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, the anti-dementia drug memantine is used to treat severe cases of Alzheimer's disease. The drug can be used to stabilize the condition of the patient and improve important skills such as walking and feeding. Memantine can also be used to improve the patient's aggressiveness and restlessness.
In the year 2011, memantine was recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as part of NHS care for the treatment of severe Alzheimers in which drugs such as donepezil cannot be used. However, medications used to treat end-stage dementia vary from country to country, as highlighted by the Alzheimer's Society.
According to Annals of Long-Term Care, patients in end-stage dementia refuse or are unable to swallow medicine. It is recommended to discontinue medications that do not directly benefit the quality of the patient's life. Generally, end-stage dementia medications aim at reducing symptoms to improve the life of the patient instead of curing the disease. Other medications given include recurrent pneumonia drugs, urinary tract infection drugs and other drugs for intercurrent illnesses.