Tags: dementia | otc | link | drugs | study

Dementia, OTC Link: Study Examines Effects of Certain Common Drugs

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 08:25 PM

A recent study has found a link between dementia and some common over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Prolonged use of high doses of drugs that have an "anticholinergic" effect, including treatments for conditions such as insomnia and hay fever, were linked to higher dementia risk in elderly people, the BBC reported.

Published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the study by researchers at the University of Washington examined more than 3,400 patients age 65 and older with no dementia at the study’s onset. Researchers followed up with patients every two years.

Most common among the anticholinergic drugs examined were tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, and bladder antimuscarinics, and nearly a fifth were purchased over the counter, the BBC said.

Experts say the link between these OTC medications and dementia does not prove cause and effect. They advise patients to talk to their doctors before stopping any medications.

The study found that people who took at least 10 milligrams per day of Sinequan, 4 mg per day of Benadryl, or 5 mg per day of Ditropan for more than three years were at greater risk for developing dementia, Health Day reported.

The increased risk was tied to cumulative exposure, and occasional use wasn’t found to increase the risk of dementia.

"We have known for some time that even single doses of these medications can cause impairment in cognition, slower reaction time, [and] reduced attention and ability to concentrate," Shelly Gray, the study's first author and a pharmacy professor at the University of Washington said, according to Live Science.

She noted that some of these medications are important for older adults, and said patients shouldn’t stop taking them but should talk to their doctors and share a complete list of over-the-counter medications they use.

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A recent study has found a link between dementia and some common over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
dementia, otc, link, drugs, study
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2015-25-27
Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 08:25 PM
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