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Common Prescription Drugs Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

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posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:06 PM
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Something that many of us don't want to think about as we get older is the chance that we might get Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. For many years doctors seemed to agree that your chances of developing either were usual dependent on whether or not you had a family history of either condition, therefore if your family wasn't genetically inclined you weren't at risk. My how times have changed!

Studies now show that besides those with a genetic tendency toward Dementia or Alzheimer's elderly people who take particular prescription medications and even seemingly safe, over-the-counter medicines could be at risk as well!



In March 2015, researchers published a prospective cohort study in JAMA Internal Medicine called “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia.” The University of Washington and Seattle healthcare system, Group Health, conducted the long-term study which tracked 3,434 men and women who were aged 65 and up, and had no dementia when the study began. [5] The team accessed every participant’s history of drug use for the previous decade, including both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Over a 7-year timeline, they followed up with all the participants every two years, during which 797 participants developed dementia (637 of whom developed Alzheimer’s disease). As researchers looked back on what those 797 individuals took, anticholinergic drugsbecame the main suspect. The most common anticholinergics participants used were tricyclic antidepressants, first-generation antihistamines, and bladder antimuscarinics. Compared to those who didn’t take anticholinergic drugs, people who did for as little as three years were 54% more likely to develop dementia.


realfarmacy.com



Many medications have at least some anticholinergic effects, and it’s estimated that up to half of older adults in the US take one or more of these medications. Common examples include: amitriptyline, paroxetine, and bupropion (most commonly taken for depression) oxybutynin and tolterodine (taken for an overactive bladder) diphenhydramine (a common antihistamine, as found in Benadryl).


Harvard Health Blog

My grandmother and great-grandmother both displayed signs of Dementia near the end of their lives however theirs was both caused by a hardening of the arteries. I am not at risk for what they had because my mother was adopted. However I have taken Benadryl many, many times in my life and this concerns me.

This information is a few years old but I feel it is important to bring it up at this time. Most of us do not think about the future repercussions of the medicines we take, especially over-the-counter stuff.

The time to think about it is NOW!




posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:11 PM
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I take Benadryl occasionally for strong allergic reactions. It works better than other OTC meds for a sudden strong allergic response.

I will take other OTC allergy meds on more regular seasonal basis though. Benadryl is not my med of choice.

And when I get a migraine attack that won't quit, the ER docs routinely use Benadryl as part of the IV cocktail to stop a runaway reaction.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:15 PM
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This is kind of startling to discover that common Benedryl can cause these effects. It’s also scary that those AntiDepressants, that doctors Love to prescribe, are now showing this as one of their long-term effects. Just Great!
Nice thread!



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: FreeFalling

I am hoping this is for prolonged and constant use of these drugs and not sporadic use because as I mentioned, Benadryl is actually fairly useful to me.
edit on 27-8-2018 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:37 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I used to suffer from major migraines several times a year, and then I hit a spell that lasted over a year where I had a major migraine every day with the exception of 1 or 2 days during that period. After MRIs and other tests could not find the problem I decided to take a chance and went to a piercing professional who was knowledgeable in accupuncture. I got my Daiths pierced on both sides (which ran me $50) and have not had any kind of headache or migraine since- and that was back on March 9th of this year! Worth every penny and more!!!



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:40 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: FreeFalling

I am hoping this is for prolonged and constant use of these drugs and not sporadic use because as I mentioned, Benadryl is actually fairly useful to me.


From what I read people who had used any of the drugs for as little as 3 years were at a 54% risk of developing Dementia or Alzheimer's. It did not say whether the use was constant (daily) or sporadic.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:42 PM
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originally posted by: FreeFalling
This is kind of startling to discover that common Benedryl can cause these effects. It’s also scary that those AntiDepressants, that doctors Love to prescribe, are now showing this as one of their long-term effects. Just Great!
Nice thread!


I have always been worried about the long term effects of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds. The listed side effects during use is terrifying already!



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:46 PM
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Don't know much about most of them but from personal experience, Diphenhydramine is some pretty potent stuff for an OTC drug. I wouldn't be surprised if some people actually get addicted to it.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 08:02 PM
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TCA's are not really used much anymore for depression. Sometimes they are prescribed by doctors for sleep tho, instead of controlled drugs like ambien, restoril, or lunesta which can be habit forming. Anticholinergics can cause a myriad of side effects, which dont make them the best therapy options for elderly. Side effects can include.....Constipation, blurred vision, insomnia, UTI's, confusion, urinary retention, insomnia, nervousness, and a few others.

What is scary about this subject in general, is that a lot of the most commonly prescribed drugs out there do not have longitudinal data for extended therapy outcomes or adverse events (over decades). 2 major ones I will be keeping an eye on, are long term effects of SSRI's/SNRI's, and well as long term effects of ADHD meds.

How doctors can have patients on Adderall XR 30 mg for ADHD and at the same time prescribe high dose xanax or valium for anxiety is beyond me. The patients heart is basically being pulled in 2 directions at once, and for periods of decades in some of my patients so far. There is very little chance there will not be cardiovascular consequences of that. But some Dr's just give the patients what they want, not what they need.

sorry to go off on a tangent.....
edit on pm88201818America/Chicago27p08pm by annoyedpharmacist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 08:06 PM
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a reply to: BrianFlanders

Diphenhydramine is in fact addictive, and nightmares/night terrors are a common side effect among the many other issues.

Always best to try the amazing variety of nature's ways before resorting to anything manmade. If you're doing it right nature's ways almost always win in the long run.

It should not be about convenience, it should be about the quality of life we are blessed to enjoy durring our brief but profound existence.

No one gets out alive anyway but let's make the most of the time we get.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 08:13 PM
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a reply to: annoyedpharmacist

I know that two of the prescription drugs listed (brand names I can think of are Elavil and Wellbutrin) were widely prescribed throughout the 1990s and early 2000s as I knew many people taking them. I tried Elavil myself for a short period of time and hated the way it made me feel so discontinued it. I'm very glad now that I did, but wonder about the people that took them regularly for several years.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 08:21 PM
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originally posted by: GeauxHomeYoureDrunk
a reply to: annoyedpharmacist

I know that two of the prescription drugs listed (brand names I can think of are Elavil and Wellbutrin) were widely prescribed throughout the 1990s and early 2000s as I knew many people taking them. I tried Elavil myself for a short period of time and hated the way it made me feel so discontinued it. I'm very glad now that I did, but wonder about the people that took them regularly for several years.


Dont see a lot of amitriptyline. However, Dr's prescribe generic wellbutrin like hotcakes. It is a Norepinephrine/Dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Works like an SSRI's mechanistically, just on different neurotransmitters.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 08:26 PM
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originally posted by: annoyedpharmacist

Dont see a lot of amitriptyline. However, Dr's prescribe generic wellbutrin like hotcakes. It is a Norepinephrine/Dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Works like an SSRI's mechanistically, just on different neurotransmitters.



I know about 8-10 years ago they prescribed Wellbutrin to my cousin to try to help her quit smoking. She had never had any sort of mental issues for her entire life (she was in her 50s at the time). By the end of the third day she suffered a psychotic break! Fortunately the hospital had dealt with it before and flushed all of the medicine out of her system and she was good as new, never having any problems like that since. That scared me enough to decide that if I ever want to quit smoking again I will just go cold turkey!
edit on 27-8-2018 by GeauxHomeYoureDrunk because: Spelling



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 08:59 PM
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My father had Alzheimer’s disease but his doctors linked to 30 years of phenobarbital for Epilepsy.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 09:11 PM
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Oh god Wellbutrin!

That crap made me crazy. The doctor subscribed it to quit smoking. I lasted about a week and told my hubby "I can't take this anymore, I feel like I could hurt you right now"


I have never felt the way that stuff made me feel. Why would they prescribe it?

Doctors should have to test the stuff they subscribe.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: annoyedpharmacist

Amitriptyline was one of the pet therapies for migraine a lot of doctors used to use, and I had my run-in with it. It destabilized my moods and I had to stop taking it although it's effectiveness was limited and I got tolerant to it pretty quickly making it necessary to increase dosage, so it was never going to be a long-term solution.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 09:38 PM
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a reply to: GeauxHomeYoureDrunk

Damn. Benadryl is a regular part of my diet.

Thanks for the heads up!



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 09:45 PM
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originally posted by: chiefsmom
Oh god Wellbutrin!

That crap made me crazy. The doctor subscribed it to quit smoking. I lasted about a week and told my hubby "I can't take this anymore, I feel like I could hurt you right now"


I have never felt the way that stuff made me feel. Why would they prescribe it?

Doctors should have to test the stuff they subscribe.


That's what's so nuts about those medications. I tried Wellbutrin about 15 years ago, and it did NOTHING for me. We upped the dosage (I'm a recovering alcoholic so I normally need bigger doses of everything for it to work like it does on regular people), upped it again, and then stayed in it for almost 90 days to let it build up in my system. NADA. It did nothing for me, including no side effects. It was like taking sugar pills.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 11:19 PM
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Here are a few more links to this kind of stuff.

medicalxpress.com...

www.sciencedaily.com... ......Notice that thirty to fifty percent of older people are prescribed anticholinergic drugs.

www.consultant360.com...

Some foods have anticholinergic effects too, they seem to push these foods as superfoods. Anticholinergic agents lower our ability to reason which makes us more apt to take meds and get procedures done that a doctor orders. They also tend to make people spend more because they are doped up and cannot comprehend they are getting too far in debt. Our government likes that, it keeps our economy flourishing.
edit on 27-8-2018 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 05:34 AM
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originally posted by: GeauxHomeYoureDrunk
a reply to: ketsuko

I used to suffer from major migraines several times a year, and then I hit a spell that lasted over a year where I had a major migraine every day with the exception of 1 or 2 days during that period. After MRIs and other tests could not find the problem I decided to take a chance and went to a piercing professional who was knowledgeable in accupuncture. I got my Daiths pierced on both sides (which ran me $50) and have not had any kind of headache or migraine since- and that was back on March 9th of this year! Worth every penny and more!!!


Same here.

I read about it and it seemed like one of those things with no real facts to back it up. I pierced mine anyway and no headaches



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