Health Care

Common Drugs May Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Common Drugs May Raise Your Risk of Dementia”

'Current guidelines for doctors say that anticholinergic drugs should be avoided for frail older people due to their impact on memory and thinking, but doctors should consider these new findings for all middle aged and older people as long-term use could raise the risk of dementia'.

But researchers said that the findings could mean around 10 percent of dementia diagnoses are attributable to the drugs.

The researchers chanced on no necessary will enhance in dementia probability associated to antihistamines, skeletal muscle relaxants, gastrointestinal antispasmodics, antiarrhythmics, or antimuscarinic bronchodilators, in step with the data, but associations were chanced on among other classes of anticholinergic medicines.

The drugs, particularly antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinics, antipsychotics and antiepileptic drugs, resulted in almost "50 per cent increased odds of dementia", according to the study published on Tuesday in the peer-reviewed JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

Adds Dening, "It's important that patients taking medications of this kind don't just stop them abruptly as this may be much more harmful".

Among those with dementia, 63% were ladies and the normal age was 82.

Reference: Carol A.C. Coupland, et al.

Overall, they study found an increased risk of dementia among those who took anticholinergic drugs. "This is important information for physicians to know when considering whether to prescribe these drugs", Coupland added.

The primary exposure of this study was the total standardized daily doses (TSDDs) of any anticholinergics prescribed within the 10-year period prior to date of dementia diagnosis or the equivalent date with respect to the matched control group. Scientist from the university of Nottingham have researched and analyzed the link between drugs and risk of dementia. They are prescribed to treat a variety of conditions including, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, bladder conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The most frequently-prescribed types of drugs were antidepressants, anti-vertigo and bladder antimuscarinic drugs - which are used to treat an overactive bladder.

The researchers noted that this was an observational study, so it can not prove that anticholinergic drugs help cause dementia.

The risks of anticholinergics "should be carefully considered by healthcare professionals alongside the benefits when the drugs are prescribed and alternative treatments should be considered where possible, such as other types of antidepressants or alternative types of treatment for bladder conditions", Coupland said in a statement. If [people] have concerns, then they should discuss them with their doctor to consider the pros and cons of the treatment they are receiving.

The study authors warned people against stopping any of their medications without talking to their doctor first.

"I spend a lot of my time in the memory disorder clinic seeing geriatric patients and taking people off medications, mostly ones that have anticholinergic properties, and many times there can be another drug out there that has less anticholinergic impact or is non-anticholinergic that may work", Scharre said.

The researchers found certain types of anticholinergic drugs showing the strongest connection with increased risk of dementia.

"We propose deprescribing research as a high priority in the effort to reduce the burden of ADRD (Alzheimer disease and related dementias), while also learning about efficient and safe approaches to optimize medication use in older adults", the editorial said.



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