Drugs & Aging

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 303–310 | Cite as

Trends in the Prescription and Long-Term Utilization of Antidementia Drugs Among Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease in Spain: A Cohort Study Using the Registry of Dementias of Girona

  • Laia Calvó-Perxas
  • Oriol Turró-Garriga
  • Joan Vilalta-Franch
  • Manuela Lozano-Gallego
  • Rosa de Eugenio
  • Fabián Márquez
  • Olga Carmona
  • Jordi Gich
  • Anna Manzano
  • Marta Viñas
  • Anna Mª Roig
  • Josep Garre-OlmoEmail author
  • on behalf of the Registry of Dementias of Girona Study Group (ReDeGi Study Group)
Original Research Article



Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) and the N-methyl d-aspartate-antagonist memantine are indicated for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).


Our aims were to describe the baseline characteristics of patients with AD according to prescription of these treatments after the diagnostic work-up to describe long-term trends in the use of these medications and to identify baseline characteristics associated with the frequency of use of each treatment.


This was a cohort study with a sample of 2992 patients with AD recorded in the Registry of Dementias of Girona (ReDeGi) between 2007 and 2014. Consumption of AChEIs and memantine was assessed using the Pharmacy Unit database from the Public Catalan Healthcare Service. We used generalized estimating equation analyses to identify the baseline characteristics associated with the consumption of AChEIs and memantine over time.


Most of the patients (70.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 68.7–72.0) were prescribed antidementia medication at the time of diagnosis. Of these, 75.0% (95% CI 73.1–76.8) were prescribed AChEIs, 14.7% (95% CI 13.2–16.3) were prescribed an AChEI plus memantine, and 10.3% (95% CI 9.0–11.6) were prescribed memantine. Advanced age reduced the likelihood of AChEI consumption. Mild dementia severity increased the use of AChEIs, and moderate–advanced dementia increased the likelihood of memantine consumption. After diagnosis, the likelihood of AChEI consumption decreased from the first year until the fifth, whereas the likelihood of memantine consumption, either alone or in combination with AChEIs, increased.


Antidementia drug use in this study showed the initial use of AChEIs alone with later use of AChEIs in combination with memantine and memantine alone in older patients with severe AD. Our findings are in agreement with current clinical practice guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of AD.


Dementia Memantine Rivastigmine MMSE Score Galantamine 
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 REDEGI Group consists of the following investigators: Department of Neurology, Hospital Universitari Josep Trueta: Jordi Gich; Albert Molins; Lluís Ramió; Joaquín Serena; Yolanda Silva, Mikel Terceño, René Robles. Dementia Unit, Hospital Santa Caterina: Marta Hernández; Manuela Lozano; Immaculada Pericot; Joan Vilalta-Franch; Antoni Turon Estrada; Jordi Llinàs; Secundino López-Pousa, Berta Solano, Mikel Terceño. Dementia Unit, Serveis de Salut Integrats del Baix Empordà: Elisabet Alsina; Rosa de Eugenio; Erélido Hernández; Margarita Flaqué. Neurology Department, Hospital de Figueres: Olga Carmona; Marta Cullell; Teresa Osuna; Mª del Mar Fernández. Neurology and Geriatrics Departments, Hospital d’Olot: Josep Bisbe; Marta Linares; Fabian Marquez Daniel; Natalia Vallmajó. Neurology and Geriatrics Departments, Hospital de Blanes: Héctor Perkal; Marta Viñas. Neurology Department; Hospital de Campdevànol: Isabel Casas; Josefa Turbau; Josep Mª Cuy; Anna Manzano. Pharmacy Unit, Health Region of Girona: Anna Maria Roig; Joan Coromina; Mònica Palacios Soto.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The ReDeGi is funded by the Health Region of Girona from the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Spain). This work was funded by Eli Lilly and Company. The funding source had no involvement in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Conflict of interest

Laia Calvó-Perxas, Oriol Turró-Garriga, Joan Vilalta-Franch, Manuela Lozano-Gallego, Rosa de Eugenio, Fabián Márquez, Olga Carmona, Jordi Gich, Anna Manzano, Marta Viñas, Anna Mª Roig, Josep Garre-Olmo have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

No formal consent is required for this type of study. The ReDeGi meets the confidentiality requirements of Spanish legislation.

Supplementary material

40266_2017_446_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (88 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 88 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laia Calvó-Perxas
    • 1
  • Oriol Turró-Garriga
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joan Vilalta-Franch
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Manuela Lozano-Gallego
    • 2
  • Rosa de Eugenio
    • 4
  • Fabián Márquez
    • 5
  • Olga Carmona
    • 6
  • Jordi Gich
    • 7
  • Anna Manzano
    • 8
  • Marta Viñas
    • 9
  • Anna Mª Roig
    • 10
  • Josep Garre-Olmo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • on behalf of the Registry of Dementias of Girona Study Group (ReDeGi Study Group)
  1. 1.Girona Biomedical Research Institute (IdIBGI)GironaSpain
  2. 2.Dementia UnitHospital de Santa CaterinaSaltSpain
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of GironaGironaSpain
  4. 4.Dementia UnitHospital de PalamósPalamósSpain
  5. 5.Neurology DepartmentHospital d’OlotOlotSpain
  6. 6.Neurology UnitHospital de FigueresFigueresSpain
  7. 7.Neurodegenerative Disease UnitHospital Universitari Dr. Josep TruetaGironaSpain
  8. 8.Neurology DepartmentHospital de CampdevànolCampdevànolSpain
  9. 9.Geriatrics and Neurology DepartmentHospital de BlanesBlanesSpain
  10. 10.Pharmacy UnitHealth Region of GironaGironaSpain

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