Pimavanserin versus quetiapine for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies

Sarah Horn, Hayley Richardson, Sharon X. Xie, Daniel Weintraub, Nabila Dahodwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Introduction: Psychosis is common among patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Limited data exist on the most effective therapies. Methods: Retrospective cohort study comparing patients with PD or DLB initiated on quetiapine or pimavanserin for psychosis. Primary outcome was time to discontinuation of pimavanserin or quetiapine using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. We hypothesized the rate of antipsychotic discontinuation would be lower in the pimavanserin group. Subjects were included if the indication for treatment was psychosis and excluded if there was a history of major mental illness or no follow up data were available. Results: Forty-seven patients were included in the quetiapine cohort and 45 in the pimavanserin cohort. Patients in the pimavanserin cohort were more likely to have a diagnosis of DLB (33% vs. 11%, P = 0.01) and to have been prescribed an antipsychotic previously (62% vs. 6%, P < 0.01); otherwise, the groups were similar. Time to discontinuation analysis, which accounts for efficacy, safety and tolerability, revealed a lower early pimavanserin discontinuation rate and a higher late pimavanserin discontinuation rate (HR < 1 before day 43, HR > 1 after day 43; P = 0.04). There was no difference in mortality in the pimavanserin group compared to the quetiapine group (HR 0.37, 95% CI 0.06 to 2.45; P = 0.88). More individuals had a documented secondary indication for taking quetiapine than pimavanserin (38% vs. 4%; P = 0.001). Conclusion: Accounting for efficacy, safety and tolerability, pimavanserin may be more clinically useful for promptly managing psychosis, while quetiapine may confer additional secondary benefits long-term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Pimavanserin
  • Psychosis
  • Quetiapine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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