Benadryl And Dementia : Hayfever drugs raise risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Benadryl And Dementia : Hayfever drugs raise risk of Alzheimer's disease

Allergy Drug Benadryl Linked to Dementia? Long-term and/or high-dose use of a class of medications used for hay fever, depression and other ills has been linked in a new study to a higher risk of dementia.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, says that the damages caused by the so-called anticholinergic medications remained permanent and didn’t get repaired even after people stopped using them.

Anticholinergic medications, according to Healthline, are a class of drugs used to treat sleep disorders, depression, urinary continence, asthma, gastrointestinal cramps and muscular spasms.

They work by blocking acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates cell division.

Shelly Gray and team based their findings on 3,500 seniors enrolled in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study.

Researchers found that these medications, when used for a long time or taken in higher doses, placed the user at higher risk of developing dementia later.

Of the total, 797 people were diagnosed with dementia in seven years.

People in the study who took daily doses of 10 mg of TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) doxepin; 4 mg of first-generation antihistamines chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) and 5 mg of oxybutynin (Ditropan) for urinary incontinence for more than three years had a higher risk of developing dementia than others.

Researchers warned that use of certain over-the -counter drugs like Benadryl, an antihistamine can pose a similar risk to the user.

“Older adults should be aware that many medications—including some available without a prescription, such as over-the-counter sleep aids—have strong anticholinergic effects,” first author of the study Dr Gray from the UW School of Pharmacy, said in a news release.

“If providers need to prescribe a medication with anticholinergic effects because it is the best therapy for their patient, they should use the lowest effective dose, monitor the therapy regularly to ensure it’s working, and stop the therapy if it’s ineffective,” Dr Gray added later.