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Ann Pharmacother. 1999 Jul-Aug;33(7-8):808-12.

Estrogen for dementia-related aggression in elderly men.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC, USA.



To report the use of conjugated estrogens for aggression in two elderly men with dementia and to review the available literature relating to estrogen use for aggression in the elderly.


Case 1. A 78-year-old white man had probable Alzheimer dementia and aggression (verbal and physical) that was nonresponsive to antipsychotic, antidepressant, and mood stabilizer therapy. However, conjugated estrogens 1.875 mg/d reduced his physical aggression, as evidenced by a 75% decline in aggressive episodes, per 24-hour nursing reports and progress notes. Case 2. A 78-year-old African-American man with vascular dementia, physical aggression, and sexual inappropriateness was unsuccessfully managed with several antipsychotic and benzodiazepine trials. He did, however, exhibit a decline in physical and sexual aggression by 80%, as well as a 55% reduction in sexual comments, after daily treatment with conjugated estrogens 0.625 mg. Estrogen was well tolerated by both patients.


MEDLINE (January 1966-May 1998) and PsychLit (January 1974-May 1998) database searches were performed to identify case reports, letters, or clinical trials discussing estrogen use in aggressive elderly patients.


As with previous reports, these cases suggest that conjugated estrogens may be used to reduce physical and sexual aggression associated with dementia in elderly men. Additional study is needed to determine the exact role of this alternative pharmacologic intervention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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