Saturday, January 31, 2015

New study shows these common over-the-counter drugs linked to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia

A new study clearly shows common over-the-counter medications widely used for asthma, allergies, and insomnia increase the risk for dementia. The study also found that the risk may not be reversible, even after several years off of these medications.

The drugs studied are anticholinergic drugs, which block a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, in the central and the peripheral nervous system. These drugs are available over-the-counter and through prescriptions. Many are used on a regular, long-term basis to treat a variety of medical complaints including:
  1.     allergies and allergic reactions
  2.     motion sickness
  3.     irritable bowel syndrome
  4.     insomnia
  5.     colds
  6.     ulcers
  7.     asthma
  8.     excessive sweating
  9.     COPD
  10.     urinary incontinence
  11.     depression
  12.     smoking cessation
  13.     cough suppressant
  14.     muscle relaxer
  15.     Parkinson's disease
These drugs include:
  1.     Zyban
  2.     Wellbutrin
  3.     Dramamine
  4.     Cogentin
  5.     Chlor-Trimeton
  6.     Benadryl
  7.     Sominex
  8.     Advil PM
  9.     Unisom
  10.     Robinul
  11.     Atarax
  12.     Atrovent
  13.     Oxivent
The study showed the risk of dementia rises when these anticholinergic medications are used at higher doses or for longer periods. It is not unusual to find these drugs used in combination, especially with the elderly population. For instance, one individual may be using a sleep aid, an allergy medication, and a medication for depression. If all of these drugs are anticholinergic drugs, the accumulative effect increases exponentially, raising the risk of dementia.

Earlier studies had shown these medications increased the risk of dementia; however, these studies also concluded cognitive decline decreased when these drugs were discontinued. The new study, a more longitudinal study, suggests that years after continuation, the risk of dementia remains higher for people who have used more of these drugs or used them for a longer period of time, suggesting a cause and effect even when the drugs were discontinued years prior to the development of dementia.

For the rest of the story:

No comments:

Post a Comment