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Common drugs linked to cognitive impairment and possibly to increased risk of death
Indiana University School of Medicine ^ | June 24, 2011 | Unknown

Posted on 06/24/2011 12:13:51 PM PDT by decimon

INDIANAPOLIS – A large, long-term study confirms that medications with anticholinergic activity, which include many drugs frequently taken by older adults, cause cognitive impairment. The research is also the first to identify a possible link between these drugs – which include over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids and incontinence treatments – and risk of death.

The two-year study of the impact of these medications on 13,000 men and women aged 65 and older is part of the Medical Research Council (UK) Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS), a large UK-based longitudinal multi-center study initiative looking at health and cognitive function in older adults. Results of the study of anticholinergics appear June 24, 2011 in an advanced online publication of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Anticholinergics affect the brain by blocking acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. Over-the-counter products containing diphenhydramine, sold under various brand names such as Benadryl®, Dramamine®, Excedrin PM®, Nytol®, Sominex®, Tylenol PM®, and Unisom®, have anticolinergic activity. Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil®, Detrol®, Demerol® and Elavil® are available by prescription.

"Our findings make it clear that clinicians need to review the cumulative anticholinergic burden in people presenting with cognitive impairment to determine if the drugs are causing decline in mental status," said co-author Malaz Boustani, M.D., Regenstrief Institute investigator, Indiana University School of Medicine associate professor of medicine, and research scientist with the IU Center for Aging Research.

"Physicians should review with older patients all the over-the-counter and prescription drugs they are taking to determine exposure," said Dr. Boustani a geriatrician who sees patients at Wishard Health Services' Healthy Aging Brain Center in Indianapolis.

The researchers, led by Chris Fox, M.D., of the University of East Anglia and Carol Brayne, M.D. of the University of Cambridge, used the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale developed by Dr. Boustani and colleagues at the Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University and in the United Kingdom to evaluate the link between anticholinergic activity and cognitive decline.

Medications with anticholinergic effects are used for many diseases including hypertension and congestive heart failure. The study found that older age, lower income, and greater number of health conditions increased use of medications with anticholinergic activity. Women were more likely to report taking anticholinergic medications, due to the greater number of health conditions reported by women than by men. Participants living in institutions were more likely to report taking anticholinergic medications.

"We looked at drugs with either moderate and severe anticholinergic activity. After adjusting for age, sex, baseline mental status, education, income level, number of non-anticholinergic medications and health conditions, we found that taking anticholinergic medications was linked to cognitive impairment and for the first time to death," said study corresponding author Dr. Fox, a psychiatrist. "We need follow-up to determine the degree to which anticholinergics are being prescribed for diseases with significant risk of death and the impact of that on our findings."

Authors of the study are Chris Fox, M.D., University of East Anglia; Carol Brayne, M.D., Kathryn Richardson, M.Sc. and George M. Savva, Ph.D, University of Cambridge; Ian D. Maidment, M.A., Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust; Fiona E. Matthews, Ph.D., Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit; David Smithard, M.D., Kent Community Health NHS Trust; Simon Coulton M.Sc., University of Kent; Cornelius Katona, M.D., University College London and Malaz Boustani, M.D., M.P.H., Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Center for Aging Research.

"The Anticholinergic Medication Use and Cognitive Impairment in the Older Population: The Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (CFAS)" was funded by the Medical Research Council.

"The Medical Research Council invests in cohort studies like CFAS because they provide vital clinical information through observation. Such projects require long-term commitment to fulfill their potential but having supported cohort studies for well over half a century, MRC funding and collaborations have made us an international leader in this field," said Chris Kennard, MBBS, Ph.D., chairman of the MRC's Neuroscience and Mental Health Board.

###

Dr. Boustani's development of the Anticholinergic Burden Scale was supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: libertarians; lsd; medicalmarijuana; peyote

1 posted on 06/24/2011 12:14:00 PM PDT by decimon
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To: neverdem; DvdMom; grey_whiskers; Ladysmith; Roos_Girl; Silentgypsy; conservative cat; ...

Ping


2 posted on 06/24/2011 12:14:49 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

Benadryl®?

Serious oh noes.


3 posted on 06/24/2011 12:23:42 PM PDT by savedbygrace (But God.)
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To: decimon

They should read the effects of statins on muscles. The Mayo Clinic has a great one.

Statins side effects, weigh the benefits and risks
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/statin-side-effects/MY00205


4 posted on 06/24/2011 12:25:01 PM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS, NO RINOS in 2012!)
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To: GailA

Side effects of Lyrica...it also attacks joints that have Osteo A in them. Lot more side effects than listed here, weight gain, sexual disfunction, are just a more.

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/lyrica-side-effects.html


5 posted on 06/24/2011 12:28:33 PM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS, NO RINOS in 2012!)
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To: savedbygrace

double oh-nos. if i don’t take benadryl before bed, i snore. and after a few days without it, i get ear aches. oh snap.


6 posted on 06/24/2011 12:32:25 PM PDT by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
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To: savedbygrace
Benadryl®?

Serious oh noes.

I guess that means you take Benadryl. Are there no alternatives with no diphenhydramine?

7 posted on 06/24/2011 12:34:48 PM PDT by decimon
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.


8 posted on 06/24/2011 12:49:21 PM PDT by loungitude ( The truth hurts.)
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To: decimon

Only newer drugs. They usually put me in the ER.


9 posted on 06/24/2011 1:08:26 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (You know if I don’t remember I’m gonna forget.)
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To: Explorer89
You can try using a neti pot before bed.

It might or might not work.

10 posted on 06/24/2011 1:13:41 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Yesterday I meditated, today I seek balance. That was Zen, this is Tao.)
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To: Silentgypsy
Only newer drugs. They usually put me in the ER.

What type of drugs.

11 posted on 06/24/2011 1:24:19 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon
"The research is also the first to identify a possible link between these drugs – which include over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids and incontinence treatments – and risk of death."


Death is certain, no risk involved!
12 posted on 06/24/2011 1:53:39 PM PDT by paolop
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To: decimon

“Medical Research Council (UK) Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS)”

Not to change the subject, just curious—do the Brits not drop the “e” off of ‘aging’?


13 posted on 06/24/2011 1:57:58 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
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To: paolop
Death is certain, no risk involved!

Yes it is. No risk at all.

14 posted on 06/24/2011 2:09:58 PM PDT by Bockscar (Thanks to the Freeper dogcaller for this tag line: --Muslims do not immigrate; they colonize--)
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To: WKUHilltopper
Not to change the subject, just curious—do the Brits not drop the “e” off of ‘aging’?

No, we do.

15 posted on 06/24/2011 2:15:01 PM PDT by decimon
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To: Explorer89
If you’re into alternative treatments, try a Netti pot to clear your sinuses and see a chiropractor. I was telling someone else on another thread that other than our yearly physicals my obstetrician appointments, my husband and I haven't been to our doctor since we started getting regular chiropractic adjustments. I used to get sinus infections three times a year and they always required prescription meds. It was just something I expected at certain times each year. Our chiro adjusts my sinuses every time I go in and I haven't had problems since. I've had stuffy noses, but no infections. He is also helping me with my pregnancy induced restless leg syndrome. Even if I wanted to take meds for this I can't because I'm pregnant. I understand not everybody is a believer in chiropractic help, but I can't recommend it enough!
16 posted on 06/24/2011 3:28:44 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: decimon

Thanks. Thought that was the case, but never saw that one before. Hope I didn’t change the flavour of the conversation...:)


17 posted on 06/24/2011 4:11:41 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
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