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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Thioridazine for dementia

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2001
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Thioridazine for dementia
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2001
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd000464
Pubmed ID

Vincent Kirchner, Cornelius A Kelly, Richard J Harvey


Neuroleptic drugs are controversial treatments in dementia, with evidence accumulating that they may hasten clinical decline. Despite these concerns, they are commonly prescribed for elderly and demented patients. Thioridazine, a phenothiazine neuroleptic, has been commonly prescribed because it was thought to produce relatively less frequent motor side effects. The drug has significant sedative effect, and it is thought that this is the main mechanism of action in calming and controlling the patient. However, pharmacologically, it also has marked anticholinergic properties that could potentially have a detrimental effect on cognitive function. To evaluate the efficacy of thioridazine in dementia in terms of: 1) efficacy in controlling symptoms 2) cognitive outcome for the patient 3) safety The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register and other electronic databases were searched using the terms 'thioridazine', 'melleril', 'dementia' and 'old age'. In addition, Novartis, the pharmaceutical company that developed and markets thioridazine, was approached and asked to release any published or unpublished data they had on file. Unconfounded, single-blind or double-blind, randomised trials were identified in which treatment with thioridazine was administered for more than one dose and compared to an alternative intervention in patients with dementia of any aetiology. Trials in which allocation to treatment or comparator were not truly random, or in which treatment allocation was not concealed, were reviewed but are not included in the data analysis. Data were extracted independently by the reviewers (VK, CAK and RJH). For continuous and ordinal variables, the main outcome measures of interest were the final assessment score and the change in score from baseline to the final assessment. The assessment scores were provided by behavioural rating scales, clinical global impression scales, functional assessment scales, psychometric test scores, and frequency and severity of adverse events. Data were pooled where appropriate or possible, and the Peto odds ratio (95%CI) or the weighted mean difference (95%CI) estimated. Where possible, intention to treat data were used. The meta-analysis showed that, compared with placebo, thioridazine reduced anxiety symptoms as evidenced by changes on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale. However, there was no significant effect on clinical global change, and a non-significant trend for higher adverse effects with thioridazine. Compared to diazepam, thioridazine was superior in terms of some anxiety symptoms, with similar adverse effects. Global clinical evaluation scales did not favour either treatment. Compared to chlormethiazole, thioridazine was significantly inferior when assessed on some items of the CAPE and the Crichton Geriatric Behavioural Rating Scales. Thioridazine was also associated with significantly more dizziness. No superiority for thioridazine was shown in comparisons with etoperidone, loxapine or zuclopenthixol, except to produce fewer side effects than loxapine. Very limited data are available to support the use of thioridazine in the treatment of dementia. If thioridazine were not currently in widespread clinical use, there would be inadequate evidence to support its introduction. The only positive effect of thioridazine when compared to placebo is the reduction of anxiety. When compared to placebo, other neuroleptics, and other sedatives, it has equal or higher rates of adverse effects. Clinicians should be aware that there is no evidence to support the use of thioridazine in dementia, and its use may expose patients to excess side effects.

Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 144 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 144 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 18 13%
Student > Master 17 12%
Researcher 13 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 13 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 11 8%
Other 35 24%
Unknown 37 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 35 24%
Psychology 17 12%
Nursing and Health Professions 11 8%
Unspecified 8 6%
Social Sciences 7 5%
Other 22 15%
Unknown 44 31%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 November 2021.
All research outputs
of 22,782,096 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,314 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 43,874 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 23 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,782,096 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,314 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 30.4. This one is in the 21st percentile – i.e., 21% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 43,874 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 11th percentile – i.e., 11% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 23 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 8th percentile – i.e., 8% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.