Common Drugs Linked to Dementia

drugs that cause dementia facebookredditpinterestlinkedinfacebookredditpinterestlinkedin

A long list of common drugs linked to dementia

A research team at Indiana University School of Medicine has recommended that older adults may want to avoid common over-the-counter drugs such as nighttime cold medicines due to their links to dementia and cognitive impairment.

They are called anticholinergic drugs and are used to treat a variety of conditions: gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, depression, sleep disorders, bladder control, anxiety and many others.  The list is long and can be found on many sites since this study has come out and even before.





A new kind of study 


While long known to some, the many drugs that can cause dementia have just been confirmed more dramatically in a June 2016 study published in JAMA Neurology called “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergic Medications and Incident Dementia“.  They used technology of MRI and PET Scan imaging to detect how anticholinergic drugs relate to the biological basis of cognitive problems.  Previous research found the link, and in fact, have known for at least 10 years.  For a layman’s view, read this article : Common Over-the-counter Drugs Can Hurt Your Brain.


Anticholinergic vs cholinergic drugs cause ineffective treatment when given together


Another interesting study has determined that 37% of those in the study were taking a cholinergic drug such as donepizil (Aricept) for Alzheimer’s and also an anticholinergic drug to counter the side effects of the donepizil.  This causes neither to be effective and was not given any attention until recently.  This type of drug inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine.  The anticholinergic drugs such as Benadryl, Tylenol PM, and Zantac, actually block the action of acetylcholine.  They work completely opposite of each other and many times are given together.  In fact, to 37% of patients, as stated.

This is a recent and rare study, but does help explain the mystery of ineffectiveness in treating ALZ, and that has been a fact for many years!  How many thousands of families were given false hope?  How could this go on for years?  Who is responsible for not paying attention to this conflicting treatment?  With the astounding number of medications today, how could there not be many interactions that lead to even more serious effects as well we know?  While this ineffectiveness has not been shown to cause death, it has still done a great deal of damage to human beings through misrepresentation.

Too many medications with anticholinergic effects





  • anti-anxiety medications
  • cardiovascular drugs
  • anticonvulsants
  • corticosteroids
  • narcotics
  • sedatives
  • antidepressants
  • antihistamines
  • anti-Parkinson drugs



Quick references for more information


We find several interesting articles on drug induced cognitive impairment:

Delirium and Dementia

Sleep, Anxiety Drugs Linked to Dementia:



marketing of a myth-SSRI drugsIt would appear that this is eye-opening information that can effect all of us as many people are heading in the direction of dementia rapidly due to so many factors.  That is challenging enough, so to come to that crossroad with this ineffective, conflicting treatment gives little hope to those afflicted if they look at these facts.  We must enlighten our medical establishment ourselves as they may not have this information and spend little time looking at interactions of meds anyway. Have you ever read a label, questioned your doctor about the interactions or side effects you are already having, only to be told it’s just you??  They intimidate you because they don’t and can’t keep up with all the mixing of meds today.  Sometimes you are under several doctor’s care unaware of the other’s prescriptions.  The statistics on drug interaction deaths are staggering.  So if you ever wondered why dementia is rampant in our country, this is just one of the reasons.  More to come.  Stay tuned.


Marketing of a Myth-SSRI drugs




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.