Drugs & Aging

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 439–445 | Cite as

Persistent use of Analgesic Medications in Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Adeline Gallini
  • Virginie Gardette
  • Bruno Vellas
  • Maryse Lapeyre-Mestre
  • Sandrine Andrieu
  • Christine Brefel-Courbon
  • the REAL.FR/DSA group
Original Research Article


Background and Objectives

Previous studies have reported a lower use of analgesics in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) than in non-AD elderly. To date, no study has focused on persistent analgesic use in patients with mild-to-moderate AD.


The “Réseau sur la maladie d’Alzheimer Français” (REAL.FR) cohort study enrolled community-dwelling patients with mild-to-moderate AD. Persistent analgesic use was defined as the consumption of at least one analgesic drug during two consecutive visits (6 months). Associated factors were identified in a nested case–control study.


In REAL.FR, 595 patients were present during at least two consecutive visits [mean age = 77.5 ± 6.8 years, mini-mental state examination (MMSE) = 20.1 ± 4.2]. Prevalence of persistent analgesic use was 13.1 % (95 % CI = 10.4–15.9). The incidence of persistent analgesic use was 5.9/100 patient-years (95 % CI = 5.2–6.6). Women (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.1, 95 % CI = 1.2–8.1), patients with musculoskeletal disorders (OR = 3.4, 95 % CI = 1.6–7.3) and patients treated with numerous medications (OR = 3.0, 95 % CI = 1.5–5.8) were more likely to use analgesics persistently. Statistically significant associations were found with disease duration and disease progression but not with AD severity at baseline.


Our results suggest a low use of analgesics in AD patients, which could vary with AD progression.


Index Date Nursing Home Resident Clinical Dementia Rating Consecutive Visit Potential Adverse Drug Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The REAL.FR Study group refers to: Vellas B., Ousset PJ., Gillette-Guyonnet S., Nourhashemi F., Andrieu S. (Toulouse); Rainfray M., Richard-Harston S. (Bordeaux); Franco A., Couturier P. (Grenoble); Pasquier F., Mackowiak-Cordoliani M.A. (Lille); Frigard B., Idiri H., Gallouj K. (Wasquehal); Michel B. (Marseille); Jeandel Cl. (Montpellier); Touchon J., Portet F., Lerouge S. (Montpellier); Robert P., Brocker P., Bertogliati C. (Nice); Forette B., Teillet L., Lechowski L. (Paris); Belmin J., Pariel-Madjlelssi S. (Paris); Verny M., Artaz M.A. (Paris); Forette F., Rigaud A.S., Latour F. (Paris); Jouanny P., Belliard S., Michel O. (Rennes); Gonthier G., Girtanner C., Thomas-Anterion C. (Saint Etienne). The DSA group refers to: Andrieu S., Savy S., Cantet C., Coley N.


REAL.FR was supported by a grant from the French Ministry of Health (PHRC 98-47N and PHRC 18-05). Promotion of the REAL.FR study was supported by the University Hospital Centre of Toulouse. The data sharing activity was supported by the “Association Monegasque pour la recherche sur la maladie d’Alzheimer” (AMPA) and the UMR 1027 Unit INSERM – University of Toulouse III. The funding organizations were not involved in the design or conduct of the study, data collection, management, analysis or interpretation, nor in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

Transparency statement

The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adeline Gallini
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 8
  • Virginie Gardette
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Bruno Vellas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • Maryse Lapeyre-Mestre
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Sandrine Andrieu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christine Brefel-Courbon
    • 2
    • 6
    • 7
  • the REAL.FR/DSA group
  1. 1.Inserm, UMR1027ToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Université de Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Service d’épidémiologieCHU de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  4. 4.GérontopôleCHU de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  5. 5.Service de Médecine interne et gérontologie cliniqueCHU de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  6. 6.Service de pharmacologie cliniqueCHU de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  7. 7.Inserm, UMR825ToulouseFrance
  8. 8.INSERM UMR 1027, Faculté de médecineUniversité de ToulouseToulouseFrance

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