Long term use of commonly used Medicines could Increase Risks of Dementia

Long term use of commonly used Medicines could Increase Risks of Dementia

A new study has linked commonly used medicines, which have an ‘anticholinergic’ effect, to dementia, which is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

According to experts, people should not stop taking those medicines. According to the study, prolonged use and higher doses of those drugs could be linked to higher dementia risk in aged individuals.

The study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine stated that all kind of medicines can have side effects and the medicines that have anticholinergic effect can block a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Such drugs can be responsible for memory problems and a dry mouth. According to the researchers, people, who are taking those medicines, should be aware that their drugs could be linked to risk of developing dementia.

The study has been conducted by Dr Shelly Gray and others from the University of Washington. The researchers had followed the health of more than 3,430 individuals aged 65 and older. According to the researchers, those people did not have signs of dementia at the beginning of the study.

They checked records to find out how many of the participants had been given a medicine with anticholinergic effect, and what dose. They compared the data with dementia diagnoses over next 10 years. As per the researchers, depression treating drugs and antihistamines for allergies were the most commonly used anticholinergic-type drugs. The researchers found that about 20% drugs had been bought over the counter.

At the end, they found that about 797 participants developed dementia. As per the study, people who take about 10 mg/day of doxepin, four mg/day of diphenhydramine for about three years could develop dementia.

The researchers said that the results were surprising. According to them, doctors should take a precautionary approach and offer different treatments instead to the patients.

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