Certain Over-The-Counter Medications May Increase Risk Of Dementia

Author: CBS SF Bay Area

There is growing evidence the longterm use of some popular over-the-counter drugs - pain relievers, cold and allergy medicines - even sleep aids - may increase the risk of dementia. Only on 5 tonight: allen martin reports on the common ingredient you should look for, and the precautions you should take. Lori Beth walking up to drawer in kitchen: So this is our family's pharmacy CRAMMED INSIDE A DRAWER, AT LORI BETH EISENSTADT'S HOME - - LORI BETH this is pretty much everything that we use on a somewhat regular basis " OVER-THE- COUNTER MEDICATIONS FOR COLDS, COUGHS, AND ALLERGIES. MANY INCLUDE AN ANTIHISTAMINE KNOWN AS DIPHENHYDRAMINE - COMMONLY SOLD AS "BENADRYL" "Everybody knows Benadryl. It's a mom's standby.

Whether you have your own child or you have a child visiting, if there is a kid who has an allergy, you always have Benadryl standing by. " what many people don't know is that this active ingredient - diphenhydramine - -is also in popular branded sleep aids such as tynenol pm, advil pm, or zzzquil, it's what called an anticholinergic drug. Anticholinergics block the action of an important neurotransmitter - used by our nervous system and brain. Pill sound BLOCKING THAT ACTION CAN CAUSE DROWSINESS AND CONFUSION. But now there's evidence to suggest long term use may increase the risk of dementia, even cause irreparable harm. "I would take these medications myself only very rarely. And I will try at all costs to avoid taking them for a long term.

" doctor barbara sommer is a geriatric psychiatrist emerita at stanford medical center - and an expert on anticholinergic drugs. She's reviewed the most recent research. I think we're starting to see a real story now.

" in the report, older adults who took anticholinergics continously for years performed worse on tests that measured short-term memory, verbal reasoning, planning, as well as problem solving. Pet scans revealed their brains were less active, and, mri scans showed their brains had shrunk. "Whereas it's always be thought if you stop anticholinergic drugs, all of the cognitive functions you've lost come back.now people aren't so sure.

Certain Over-The-Counter Medications May Increase Risk Of Dementia

And they're worried that this may lead to .. Or hasten the onset of dementia " HOWEVER THESE STUDIES DO NOT *PROVE* A CAUSE AND EFFECT. The trade association that represents the makers of these over-the-counter products point out: "the active ingredients are approved by the fda and recognized as safe and effective when taken as instructed" and the labels are clear: you should only use them for up to two weeks or occasionally. DOCTOR SOMMER SAYS DIPHENHYDRAMINE IS A GREAT MEDICATION FOR Arthere are other ways to treat insomnia. And some of them don't have to do with medications at all. They have to do with modifying behaviors.

Lori beth is already weighingng the research. For a list of anticholinergic drugs, go to kpix dot com. Reviewing the research. For a list of anticholinergic drugs, go to kpix dot com. Paul does weather paul does weather.

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By: CBS SF Bay Area
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