Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2021 Aug;19(3):514-520. 10.9758/cpn.2021.19.3.514.

5-HT1A Partial Agonist Tandospirone for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms in Oldest-old Patients with Dementia at a Special Elderly Nursing Home

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Toon, Japan.


To investigate the efficacy of tandospirone, an azapirone anxiolytic similar to buspirone that is used in Japan, for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), especially in oldest-old patients.
This was an open-label observational study involving residents with BPSD in a special elderly nursing home between August 2013 and August 2018. The severity of dementia was assessed using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale; as the main outcomes, the severity of BPSD was assessed using the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity scale (CGI-S) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory-12 (NPI-12) at baseline and 4 weeks after the maintenance dose of tandospirone was reached. The administration of tandospirone started at 30 mg, divided into three doses per day. Two weeks later, if the efficacy was sufficient based on the clinical nursing record, that dose was continued; if the efficacy was insufficient, the daily dose was increased from 40 mg/day to a maximum dose of 60 mg/day.
Thirty-three participants (25 females [76%], mean age 87.1 ± 5.4 years) completed the study. Twenty-three participants (70%) were oldest-old (18 females [78%], mean age 89.9 ± 3.4 years). The mean CDR score was 2.9 ± 0.3 in all participants. Tandospirone treatment showed few or no obvious adverse effects and significantly improved CGI-S scores, as well as total scores and many subscale scores on the NPI-12, in both the sample at large and the oldest-old participants.
This study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of tandospirone for BPSD in oldest-old participants.


Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia; Dementia; Aged; 80 and over; Observational study; Serotonin receptor agonists; Tandospirone
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